The main runway of Chennai airport will be shut from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. till October, on account of infrastructure work, but no flight services will be affected during the period, according to officials.
The secondary runway will handle all the aircraft movements, officials said. Airports Authority of India (AAI) has begun carrying out developmental work from Sunday.
The closure of the main runway has been brought into effect, because AAI has started constructing three rapid exit taxiways, which are needed for aircraft to exit at higher speed.
Simultaneously, AAI has been straightening a taxiway called ‘Bravo’ for a few months now, done to enable the aircraft to reach the runway fast.
“On completion of all these developmental works, flight delays and congestion at the airport will be reduced significantly. At present, runway occupancy time of an aircraft (time an aircraft spends on the runway) is around 70 seconds and when these works are finished, it will be brought down to 60 seconds,” an official said.
The main runway will be closed from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. till the end of October and subsequently, from November till March, it will be shut from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., he added.
But in case of emergency, these works will be stopped for a brief period and the main runway will be made available for traffic within a hour, the official said.
“At night, there is wide body aircraft movement for international departures and arrivals, and this can be handled only by the main runway; hence, we decided to close it during the day time. From 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., there will be only domestic movements and we can manage that with the secondary runway,” he added.