Friday, October 20, 2017

Airport to battle delays caused by small planes

Chennai: While travellers are welcoming the operation of small planes to tier III cities to boost regional connectivity, there is a flip side -the skies will be more crowded, impacting the aircraft handling capacity of airports.
In a bid to prevent these small and slow aircraft from causing delays, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has lined up a series of steps to cut down the runway occu pancy time of planes at Chennai airport.
Worried that an increase in small plane traffic will slow down operations, the AAI is planning to sensitise pilots and air traffic controllers, commission simultaneous use of the main runway and second runway (crossrunway operations) and spe ed up construction of two rapid exit taxiways. AAI is planning to start cross-runway operations in December.
70-seater planes like ATRs and Bombardier Q400 have a slow climb rate after take-off and cruise at approximately 500kmph at 21,000ft. More such planes in the air would lead to more distance between planes as they are lined up to land at the airport. Indigo, SpiceJet and Jet Airways are gearing up to fly smaller planes to capture regional markets and also bid for routes.
Airports around the world are seeking to reduce the runway occupancy time of planes so that more slots can be given for landing and take-off. This warrants a runway exit strategy for pilots, enabling them to react promptly to take-off clearance and line up on the taxiway without delays.
20/10/17 V Ayyappan/Times of India
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