Aviation expert writes to CM on secondary runway


‘If an aircraft overruns the runway, during landing or taking off, it can run on to the Metro Rail line’

A big disaster awaits the city thanks to the operations at the secondary runway of Chennai airport, says Mohan Ranganathan, aviation expert, in a letter to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

Capt. Ranganathan says the Kancheepuram collector has commenced land acquisition in Kolappakkam to enable the Airports Authority of India to install the instrument landing system (ILS) for the extended portion of the secondary runway, and also remove a few obstacles in the approach path.

But AAI ‘cannot install ILS at the northern end of the runway for which land is being acquired’, says Capt. Ranganathan in his letters.

If an aircraft overruns the runway, either during landing or taking off, the possibility of one of the biggest air disasters in the city cannot be ruled out, he says.

The aircraft may also run onto the Metro Rail line carrying several hundred passengers, and come in contact with 25,000V cables in the roof of the Metro Rail tunnel.

Capt. Ranganathan has appealed to the Chief Minister to cancel the acquisition notice and take immediate action in this regard.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had given its approval for the functioning of the secondary runway in April, almost three years after it was built.

Subsequently, in the second week of May, the runway was thrown open for operations.

As part of Chennai airport’s expansion plan, the runway had to be extended to 3,400 metres. Despite an expenditure of Rs. 450 crore, the runway’s length now stands at just 2,300 metres.

A government audit conducted sometime ago said there had been loss of interest to the tune of Rs. 190 crore over the secondary runway.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 2:04:01 AM |

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