As the City of Chicago finishes work before the official October 17 opening of the new Runway 10C/28C at O’Hare International Airport (ORD), control tower manager Robert Flynn released operational data of use to flight crews. Runway 10C/28C will be a Design Group VI surface 10,801 feet long by 200 feet wide. Its accelerate-stop distance available (ASDA) will be 10,540 feet, as will its landing distance available (LDA). Aircraft instructed to land on Runway 10C and hold short (LAHSO) of taxiway “GG” will find 9,610 feet of runway remaining.
The control tower manager at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (KORD) published an airport notice effective August 19 that reminds pilots of locations where tower controllers are unable to see their aircraft after a “line up and wait” instruction is issued. These include the intersections of Runway 10L and Taxiway DD, Runway 32L and Taxiway T10, Runway 14L and Taxiway U2 and Runway 28R and Taxiway EE.
The FAA issued SAFO 13007, which warns pilots to use extra caution when taxiing on intersecting or active runways. “At many airports, it is common for ATC to use an active or inactive runway as a taxiway [to accommodate] airport geometry, construction, congestion or taxiway restrictions.”
A new fuel-saving and safety-focused aircraft taxi system is being tested at Frankfurt Airport (EDDF), Germany. The new taxi tool, called “follow the greens,” allows crews to add just enough power to taxi–without intermediate stops–to reach their airport destination. Controllers communicate the go/no-go signals to crews by turning on and off various portions of the airport’s green taxiway centerline lighting, which are also expected to help prevent runway incursions. Constant cockpit throttle positions are expected to save fuel.
The FAA’s newest runway safety enhancement tool, runway status lights (RWSLs), became operational on July 25 at Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD). The new system uses a series of colored lights embedded in the runway and taxiway pavement to help prevent runway incursions by offering pilots and vehicle operators a simple visual system to determine whether it is safe to cross or enter a runway.
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) has wrapped up a $29 million expansion project known as the North Aviation Development. The project, funded by FAA entitlement grants and airport revenues, saw the realignment of Gulfstream Road to a newly built 1,200-foot tunnel under Taxiway A, which was extended 1,800 feet to a total of 9,302 feet. The additional length allowed the taxiway to connect with the newly built new 4,033-foot taxiway H, which now links Gulfstream Aerospace’s new $500 million campus expansion to the rest of the airport.
Pilots flying into Aspen’s Pitkin County Airport (ASE) should be aware of FAA Notice NOTC4835, which addresses two safety issues at the field. The notice attempts to mitigate ongoing safety incidents at the Colorado airport involving aircraft, vehicles and pedestrians on runways and non-movement area. Outside the skiing season, the movement/non-movement area boundaryline was repositioned closer to Taxiway A4.
Signature Flight Support has resumed handling of all helicopter traffic into London Gatwick Airport, coinciding with the reopening of the helicopter aiming point (HAP) on May 3. The opening of the HAP after a 12-year hiatus allows operators once again to land helicopters at Gatwick without having to taxi on the runway. The new HAP is located at the end of Taxiway Uniform on the airport’s west side. Slots are still required for landing, and the HAP is for daylight use only when visibility is better than 1,500 meters.
One drawback to traditional round taxiway lights is the difficulty pilots often face in determining the precise location of the edge of the taxiway surface using those lights. The technology behind blue taxiway lighting has changed little over the past 50 years, until a recent test of a new kind of lighting fixture began at Ohio’s Cleveland Hopkins Airport (CLE) in February. This involves the new Pavement Edge Light Safety System (Pelss) from Lumin Aerospace.
All taxiways at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) once identified by a “Z” prefix have been eliminated as the City of Chicago continues toward the May 2, 2013 renaming of Runway 10-28. That runway will become 10L-28R in advance of this fall’s opening of the new Runway 10C-28C. ORD taxiways will now be identified with double letters such as “DD” or “GG.”
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