More flights, reduced delays and less congestion will be a reality as Chennai airport is set to finally open the taxiway ‘Bravo’ after nearly four years.
‘Bravo’, the primary taxiway, runs parallel to the main runway that is used for 90% of domestic, international and cargo movements. It had to be straightened as it had a curve near the Guindy end. Due to this curve, the flights which travel from terminal to the main runway were taking more time and consuming excess fuel.
In 2018, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) began work on removing the curve and after repeated delays, the taxiway is now ready and will be thrown open on Thursday. Since the curve has been straightened now, the airside congestion will come down, resulting in lesser number of aircraft delays in the peak hour.
According to AAI officials, the opening of the taxiway will augment the airside capacity and there will be increase in the number of aircraft handled per hour on the main runway. Also, the construction of two rapid exit taxiway work is in progress and once these two are also opened, the number of aircraft handled in an hour will go up to 45-50 from 36 operated at present.
“This is crucial now as we are having close to 180-200 aircraft movements a day. If it goes higher gradually, managing the air traffic will become even more tough. The air traffic controller too will find it easier to manage and flights need not wait for clearances to land,” an official said.
The minimum separation distance between ‘Alpha’ taxiway and the centre line of the main runway has increased from 123 metres to 172.5 metres now as a result of the straightening work done for ‘Bravo’ taxiway, according to a press release. Hence, the restrictions, which were existing for using ‘Alpha’ taxiway when the Runway 25 is in use, will not be there anymore, officials said.
In April this year, after the straightening work was completed, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation gave the nod and before commissioning, as mandatory, it was notified in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) too.