One of two runways at Halifax airport remains closed after plane skids off it
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Monday, November 19, 2018 1:18PM AST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 20, 2018 7:43AM AST
Halifax's international airport may not regain full use of both its runways until the end of November, after an overshoot that left a cargo plane mangled.
Airport spokeswoman Theresa Rath Spicer said Monday the secondary runway has been closed since Nov. 7, when a Boeing 747 overshot the runway and came close to breaching the airport's fence.
Rath Spicer said part of the plane was removed over the weekend, and the dismantling of the huge aircraft should be complete Tuesday.
"The aircraft has to be completely removed before we can reopen the runway," she said in an email Monday. "Once all the debris has been removed, the soil contaminated by the fuel leak will be removed and disposed of offsite."
She said the ongoing closure caused some delays, cancellations and diversions into Friday because the winds favoured the runway that is closed, but that they are hoping to partially reopen it within a couple days.
"The secondary runway is expected to be reopened on Wednesday but with limited capacity as it won't have all of its navigational aids available for a week or two," she said.
"At this time, we expect the secondary runway to be reopened with its full capabilities by the end of November."
Nav Canada spokesman Ron Singer said Monday the plane did "significant damage" to the airport's instrument landing system (ILS), which provides horizontal and vertical guidance.
That equipment needs be repaired and tested, which won't be done until at least early next week, or later if weather is bad, he said.
But he noted the ILS is mostly used when there is a low ceiling or low visibility.
"Planes could land without the ILS if the weather conditions are favourable," Singer said.
Rath Spicer said flights had returned to normal after the incident, but that travel was disrupted by high winds and snow last week and it remains "contingent on weather, particularly wind direction."
She said an engineering review has found no damage to the runway surface.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the crash of the SkyLease Cargo plane, which left four crew members with injuries that were said to be minor.
The aircraft was significantly damaged after it slid 210 metres off the end of Runway 14 in rainy conditions while being buffeted by a crosswind with a potential tailwind.
Flight KKE 4854, which had arrived from Chicago just after 5 a.m. after a two-and-a-half hour flight, was to be loaded with live lobster destined for China.