Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a month after a plane overshot a runway, taking out navigational equipment and leaving a trail of debris in its wake.

On Nov. 7, a Boeing 747 cargo jet overshot the airport’s secondary runway and came close to crashing through the airport’s fence.

Still to be replaced are some approach lighting towers, which help guide pilots to the runway, but airport spokeswoman Theresa Rath Spicer said they aren’t affecting operations.

“About a third (of the towers) were damaged during the runway overrun and that work will continue until mid-December,” she said. “That is an approximate time frame, though. We do anticipate it will take time, and it’s largely weather dependent.”

She said approach lighting is only needed when landing in darkness or poor visibility, so in those conditions, the airport’s other three approaches are available.

Following the incident, the runway remained closed for nearly two weeks before reopening on Nov. 20, though without its full navigational capabilities.

Rath Spicer said the SkyLease Cargo plane also took out a large localizer antenna that was part of a navigational aid, but it has been replaced in the last couple of weeks.

She also said officials have removed and disposed of the contaminated soil and are working to backfill and grade the area in order to extend the runway-end safety area — a project that began before last month’s incident.

A runway-end safety area is a buffer strip that extends past the end of a runway. It gives planes extra stopping distance and can reduce damage and risk to passengers in the event of an overrun.

Transport Canada requires an extra 60 metres of prepared surface at the end of each runway, though it recommends an additional 90 metres for a total margin of 150 metres.

Rath Spicer said Transport Canada will raise the requirement to 150 metres in the near future, and the Halifax airport has already taken steps to meet the anticipated requirement.

Last month, the cargo jet slid 210 metres off the end of the runway, a full 60 metres farther than the forthcoming requirement — though Transport Canada will also recommend an additional 150 metres for a total margin of 300 metres.

For now, Rath Spicer said, the airport will stick to the original plan of upgraing their runway-end safety areas to 150 metres.

“At this time, we are going to be adhering to what we anticipate from Transport Canada,” she said. “Their future requirement, as we understand it, will be 150 metres. So we’re building to that national requirement.”

While the mangled plane was still lying at the end of the runway, the 183,500 kilogram jumbo jet attracted dozens of curious onlookers who watched as crews began tearing into the wreck with a backhoe last month.

Children and adults appeared equally gobsmacked by the massive plane, resting just feet from a barbed-wire fence that separates the airport from a public, two-lane road.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is still investigating the crash, 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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Andre Lemus, the owner of Las Palmeras in Red Deer, says he hopes in-person dining restrictions are lifted this upcoming Thursday. (Photo courtesy www.laspalmeras.ca)
Red Deer restaurant owner hopes in-person dining restrictions are lifted Thursday

The owner of a Red Deer restaurant says business has “dropped” since… Continue reading

The Town of Ponoka and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) have ratified a new agreement, averting a strike. (File photo from Facebook)
Alberta gov’t ‘using pandemic as shield to lay off workers,’ says AUPE

The Government of Alberta’s “attacks on workers” is continuing with a new… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP, EMS, Search and Rescue, STARS air ambulance and Alstrom Helicopters worked together to rescue a fallen ice climber Friday. (Photo contributed by Rocky Mountain House RCMP)
Rocky Mountain House RCMP help rescue fallen ice climber

Rocky Mountain RCMP helped assist a fallen ice climber Friday afternoon. At… Continue reading

Students Association of Red Deer College president Brittany Lausen says she’s pleased the college is offering students a choice to attend class in-person or remotely. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Red Deer College winter term enrolment dips

Enrolment down about six per cent but mix of online and in-person instruction is going over well

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

A Suncor logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Body of worker whose bulldozer fell through ice on inactive tailings pond recovered

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Oilpatch giant Suncor says the body of a… Continue reading

A restaurant manager in Orlando used a sign to secretly ask an 11-year-old boy if he needs help from his family after they were spotted withholding food from him. (Photo courtesy Orlando Police Department)
WATCH: Restaurant manager uses secret note to ‘rescue’ child, says Orlando Police

The manager of an Orlando restaurant is receiving praise from police after… Continue reading

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will cripple struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

VICTORIA — A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Quebec and Ontario, the two provinces hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic,… Continue reading

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. A young snowshoer who set out alone on a rugged mountain trail on Vancouver's north shore Thursday has died. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Snowshoer dies after overnight search on Vancouver-area mountain: RCMP

SQUAMISH, B.C. — A snowshoer who set out alone on a rugged… Continue reading

nunavut
‘It was joyous:’ Sun returns to some Nunavut communities for first time in weeks

IQALUIT — A sliver of orange rose over Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, earlier… Continue reading

People take photos through the extensive security surrounding the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, ahead of the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Susan Walsh
Less pomp, very different circumstances as D.C. prepares to inaugurate Biden, Harris

WASHINGTON — Some pomp. Very different circumstances. Inauguration day is supposed to… Continue reading

Winnipeg Jets' Nathan Beaulieu (88) and Nikolaj Ehlers (27) defend against Jansen Harkins (12) during scrimmage at their NHL training camp practice in Winnipeg, Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Winnipeg Jets cancel practice due to possible COVID-19 exposure

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets have cancelled their practice today due to… Continue reading

Most Read