New Delhi, August 8
Constructed on elevated terrains and principally having little house for final minute maneuver, tabletop runways at instances pose challenges for pilots whereas touchdown their plane.
And Air India Express planes have crashed not less than twice on such runways in little over a decade.
At least 5 airports, together with at Kozhikode the place an Air India Express plane crashed on Friday, have tabletop runways.
Tabletop runways are constructed on hilly or elevated terrains. Also, there might be low mendacity areas adjoining to such runways and there might be gorges on the finish of such runways.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman Arvind Singh informed PTI that tabletop runways are there at 4 airports operated by it. They are at Kozhikode, Mangalore (Karnakata), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) and Pakyong (Sikkim).
The Lengpui airport in Mizoram, which is with the state authorities, additionally has a tabletop runway.
State-owned AAI operates 137 aerodromes, together with those by joint ventures.
A senior Air India pilot stated that automation may not assist in the case of tabletop runways. There can also be the difficulty of optical phantasm, the place the runway may appear to be nearer whereas it could really be additional away, he added.
The pilot additionally careworn that there’s not a lot buffer zone not like regular runways.
There are tabletop runways in numerous elements of the world and solely when the runway size is much less, there might be points with touchdown of plane. In the case of Kozhikode airport, the runway is about 9,000 ft which is sort of lengthy, in line with a senior regulatory official.
Tabletop runways are there at some airports, each in north and south India, he added.
According to the official, pilots are typically informed about such runways and numerous restrictions.
In the Court of Inquiry report concerning the airplane crash at Mangalore airport in May 2010, it was talked about that there have been three tabletop airports within the nation from the place scheduled flights function at Mangalore, Kozhikode and Lengpui.
“Because of the undulating terrain and constraints of house, these airfields require further ability and warning whereas finishing up flight operations.
“The hazard of undershooting and overshooting, in particular, can lead to grave situations, as was the case in this accident,” the report had stated.
It had additionally stated that tabletop runways have an issue of entry roads across the airfield, which can have to be utilized in case of plane accidents.
Citing ICAO knowledge, the report had additionally stated that a lot of the accidents happen throughout touchdown and take-off phases, with a lot of runway excursions and plane overrunning into the overshoot space.
“Considering the big momentum of those plane, a downward slope within the overrun space can worsen the result. It is subsequently really helpful that such downward slopes as acquiring in Mangalore be delivered to the identical degree of the runway floor.
“This also needs to be ensured at all tabletop airports in the country,” the report had stated.
Regarding the Air India Express airplane that crashed on Friday, AAI stated it had touched down round 1,000 metres from the start of the runway on the Kozhikode airport earlier than breaking apart into two items.
The Boeing 737-800 plane whereas touchdown overshot the runway and went down 35 ft right into a slope earlier than breaking apart into two items. The pilot of the flight—IX-1344—could not sight the runway within the first touchdown try because of heavy rains.
An AAI spokesperson stated that runway 28 was in use and within the first touchdown try the pilot couldn’t sight the runway and requested for runway 10.
The pilot then steered the airplane to runway 10 and got here from the opposite facet, in line with an AAI official.
Citing info from the Air Traffic Controller (ATC), the spokesperson stated the plane touched down close to taxiway ‘C’, which is roughly 1,000 metres from the start of runway 10. The whole size of the runway is 2,700 metres.
The spokesperson additionally stated that it was raining over the airfield and reported visibility on the time of touchdown was 2,000 metres. PTI