Chennai airport working overtime for smooth landing

Officials at the Chennai airport are praying that no untoward incident should happen in the next nine months till the resurfacing of the 3.65-km main runway is completed. ?Fingers crossed,? said an airport official on the long haul ahead; re-carpeting work started on August 21. His worry is understandable. Ten days back, an aircraft was slightly damaged due to the presence of debris on the runway from the resurfacing work. The runway had to be shut for nearly two hours and ten flights were diverted to Bengaluru and Hyderabad. It is not quite a simple project, the official replied. A functioning airport with a single runway has many challenges. Every day, the runway is closed for nearly seven-and-half hours and a meticulous planning is done with various stakeholders, especially airlines, to ensure that there is no trouble during this time. Depending on the available length of runway and the restricted facilities during the work period, airlines change the type of aircraft they use, limit the take-off load or change their schedule to co-ordinate with the work period, says Chennai Airport Director Deepak Shastri.

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