HALIFAX – One of the two runways at Halifax’s international airport remains closed after a cargo plane skidded off it almost two weeks ago, causing delays and flight cancellations.
Airport spokeswoman Theresa Rath Spicer said 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 taken away over the weekend, and the dismantling of the huge aircraft was expected to continue.
“The aircraft has to be completely removed before we can reopen the runway,” she said in an email Monday.
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 reopen it this week.
“We’re striving to reopen it in the next couple of days but this is a very fluid process that is subject to change. When it does reopen, it won’t be at its full capacity,” she 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 a complete engineering review needs to be done to make sure the runway was not
damaged, though an initial inspection after the accident didn’t identify any damage to the surface.
Also, Nav Canada had to replace ground equipment damaged in the accident. Nav Canada did not immediately return a phone call Monday.
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.