In an effort to curtail flight delays, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) began cross-runway operations at the Chennai airport on Thursday.
Officials said simultaneous operation of the runways would increase aircraft movement from 36 to 42 an hour. “It is a trial run that will go on for 10 days. After that we will see what changes have to be incorporated before it can be continued,” an official said.
According to a press release from AAI, there were eight departures from secondary runway, five from main runway and nine arrivals on the main runway on Thursday. There were a total of 22 movements in 55 minutes. At present, the airport witnesses more than 330 aircraft movements a day. The AAI has planned a slew of airside developments recently to cater to the increasing passenger traffic and the growing number of flight services. Recently, a new taxiway ‘Mike’ was commissioned with which an increase in the number of aircraft movement was made possible, officials said. Also, they plan to have two Rapid Exit Taxiways and straighten the existing taxiway ‘Bravo’.
“There are a total of 24 taxiways in the airport now. This is essential because air traffic has been increasing at the rate of 10% here,” said an official. Also, several airlines have increased their services. “The amount of time an aircraft stays on the runway has also decreased after the new taxiway operations began. From about 75-80 seconds for an aircraft, it has come down to 70 seconds now. We want to bring it down further,” the official said. The cross-runway operations are resuming at the airport almost after a decade. “If the work to construct two RETs and straightening of ‘Bravo’ taxiway are completed, then cross-runway operations cannot be continued,” an official said.
The only issue is that the second runway cannot be used for a landing as it is over a river. But it is a start, I guess.