In what could be said as a piece of good news for the passengers flying to and from Visakhapatnam, the newly constructed parallel taxi track (N5) at the Visakhapatnam International Airport will the thrown open by the end of the month. Officials of the airport said the commissioning of the taxi track will help in increasing the number of flight movements including landing and takeoff two an hour and reduce runway occupancy time.
Even though the construction of the N5 taxi track was completed in November 2019, it could not be commissioned immediately as there were several procedural issues like inspections by various agencies. In addition to that, the subsequent lockdown and restrictions on the movement of flights due to COVID-19 resulted in further delays.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, Airport Director M. Raja Kishore said that “ the clearance was given by the safety team from the Southern Region of Airports Authority of India (AAI) after inspection and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has given its security clearance, the Indian Navy has given operational clearance and other clearances have already been obtained.
Stating further, Mr. Kishore said once the information of parking provisions for different aircrafts are published and send to all airports, the aircrafts can start using N 5 taxi track to reach the parking bays. The ‘L’ shaped N 5 track facilitates quick movement of the aircraft to the parking bays. The present taxi track of N 3 and N 4 are located perpendicular to the runway. With the commissioning of N 5, the operational efficiency of the airport will improve considerably. Another visible improvement will be an increase of flight movements to 120 from existing flight movements of 80 per day.
Rs. 23 crores has been spent by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for the construction of N 5 and six additional parking bays at the airport. Now as many as 12 big aircraft can be parked at the airport now. Apart from this, four smaller aircraft can also be parked at the old terminal building. “On commissioning of N5 taxi track, we hope that a few airline operators would plan late-night arrivals and early morning departures from the city. Of course, IndiGo has shown interest, in the past, in utilizing the night parking facility,” said the Airport Director. Also, works undertaken as part of linear expansion of the terminal building are in an advanced stage of completion and it is expected to be ready by June-end,” Mr. Raja Kishore added.