Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Why second runway at Chennai airport is not a smooth, safe glide

Chennai: Though the second shorter runway at Chennai airport is being extensively used, due to taxiway work near the main runway, it does not have the adequate safety buffer zone on either end leaving no space for evasive action in case the plane does not have the required height during take-off or landing.
The Trichy incident, in which the underbelly of an Air India plane was lacerated after it hit the Instrument landing System (ILS) antenna and the airport compound wall while take-off, shows that if the pilot is not able to lift-off on time there is little space to maneuver to safety, especially when the runway is short.
If a similar incident happens at Chennai airport, there is hardly any space for the pilots to handle the plane in a safe manner on the second runway.
A senior pilot said, "Rejecting a take-off while on a short runway can be near impossible. The Air India pilots probably might have lifted off at the last minute to avoid a possibility to reject take-off."
Former pilot and air safety expert Captain Mohan Ranganathan said a safety buffer was usually provided by reducing the usable portion of the runway so that there is some space for the pilots to prevent incidents. "But that may not be adequate. In case of a second runway, the metro rail line, the GST Road and a petrol pump, on one end of the second runway is a huge risk," he added.
17/10/18 V Ayyappan/Times of India

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