TWO newly built rapid-exit taxiways (RET) that would allow a speedy exit of landing airplanes on runway 06-24 will be opened for operation at 3 p.m. today, (Monday), promising to reduce runway congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
Built at a cost of about P300 million, the new RETs basically allow aircraft to exit the runway at 93 kilometers per hour, from the previous 65 kph, Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) General Manager Ed Monreal said.
He explained that, without the RET, a landing airplane usually stays in the runway for two to three minutes, requiring longer separation for the next landing airplane.
“When RET is in operation, aircraft occupancy of the runway would be reduced to about one minute per airplane,” Monreal said.
Presently, the two major international runways have about 40 movements per hour, which could be increased to 50 movements per hour with the RET in place.
Monreal said construction of the east and west RET taxiways two years ago were carried out simultaneously, but the Naia remained in operation throughout that period, without causing any flight interruptions.
The two RETs are 60 meters wide and 310 meters long.
Previously, the taxiways immediately attached to runway 06-24 were constructed at a right angle, requiring landing aircraft to completely slow down before making the turn.
“The new RETs were constructed at a slight angle to the runway, allowing airplanes to exit at a faster clip than before and giving the next succeeding planes [a chance] to land as soon as the preceding airplane is headed toward the RET exit,” Monreal explained. From touchdown to taxiing toward the Naia terminal parking aprons would usually take about two to three minutes.
He said the RET pavement’s thickness can accommodate aircraft “characteristic of the B777-300ER or above,” which means a modern wide-body plane with 300 passengers or more, up to the level of a B747 or A380. The pavement has a design life of 20 years.
The whole project cost P212, 548, 37.52 for civil works and P96, 680, 178.89 for electrical works, or a grand total of P309 million.
Invited to grace the occasion were Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, Director General Capt. Jim Sydiongco of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea.
Colombo scholarship grantee: Hurn College of Air Traffic Control, Bournemouth, United Kingdom.