CAA rejects call from StarLux chief to ban A330 from Taipei Songshan Airport

Songshan runway is long enough for manual braking: CAA

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An Airbus A330 

An Airbus A330  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) on Saturday (July 4) rejected a demand by StarLux Airlines Chairman Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒) to ban the Airbus A330 from Taipei Songshan Airport until an explanation had been found for the falling out of three key systems on one flight during a landing there.

On Friday (July 3), media reported that in an unprecedented incident last month, a China Airlines (CAL) A330 had simultaneously lost its thrust reverser, automatic braking and speedbrake panel systems, leading the plane to come to a halt less than 10 meters from the end of the runway.

Chang’s main argument for stopping A330 flights on the airport in the center of Taipei City was precisely what he described as the inadequate length of its runway, CNA reported.

However, the CAA argued its length of 8,500 feet was sufficient, as the distance a plane needed to land was dependent on many factors, including wind speed and direction, precipitation, the passenger, luggage and cargo load, and the amount of fuel on board. In the case of extreme circumstances, such as strong wind shear, low visibility, thunderstorms or flooding on the runway, the pilot could still decide to choose an alternative airport, the CAA said.

Manual braking should not pose a problem at Songshan, according to officials, while at other airports, pilots needed to inform themselves ahead of landing about the local weather conditions and the length of the runway.