Monday, September 18, 2023

Chennai airport enhances safety with runway expansion

Chennai: Flying into the city is going to be safer as the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will soon start work to extend the runway end safety area at both the ends of main runway and the second runway.

The runway end safety area is created to stop the plane and prevent damage to the aircraft if it overshoots a runway or it lands well before the touchdown point. It will be made of soft material so that the wheels get buried stopping the plane in the process. Around 60 metres of space is usually left at either end of the runways as the runway end safety area.

The move comes after the airport has received land from the state government and the defence. This will help the airport to use the full length of the runways without restriction, especially the Manapakkam-end of the second runway.

The main runway of the airport has adequate safety buffer area on both ends but it had its limitation because of lack of land and presence of houses and other facilities.

The GST-road end of the second runway has a metro rail line running just below the ground while there are buildings on one end of the main runway.

A pilot said that it will be an additional safety mechanism which is ideal for an airport that is located inside a city surrounded by obstructions caused by buildings. “The runway at the airport is fine now. The runway end safety area will be useful in case of an accident when an aircraft overshoots the runway. It should not go and hit the compound wall or some other building outside the airport campus. The safety area will prevent damage to the aircraft and will also save the people. This comes in handy for the airport to get international ratings for complying with safety norms,” he said.

18/09/2023 Times of India

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