NEW DELHI,25 September 2018
International Report says it all:
Investigation report says “the runway was slippery after two days of rain and there was dense fog at the time, Kathmandu Tower, who clearly couldn’t see anything didn’t comment on the deteriorating weather or mention the fog and mist in the latest forecast.”
‘Lack of runway centerline and touchdown zone lighting contributed to the first officer not being able to see the runway environment clearly enough for him to maintain the aircraft on the approach path and the runway centerline’
There were no runway centerline lights installed, and that the fog covered the runway surface was reported to be so thick that runway markings were not visible. It is not equipped with the runway centerline or touchdown zone lighting.
The presence of runway centerline lighting would have increased the visual cues available to the flight crew, and assisted with the recognition of the developing sideslip and lateral deviation from the centerline. And its absence might have contributed to substantially increasing the crew’s difficulties in positioning the airplane centrally.
Contradictory CAAN Report:
It is noteworthy, but condemning, that none of the reports of CAAN has mentioned its fault for not installing the runway center lights.
If my prediction is wrong, can CAAN officials answer one simple query “why taxpayers’ money was not used in the modernizing the runaway putting them on the risk?” We still have expired runway if one refers to the safety recommendations of ICAO i.e. without the lighting center lights.
Is ICAO role without controversy?
Maybe ICAO was given an undue pressure of varying nature, you may guess. However, an institution of such huge public faith and responsibility, lifting the ‘ban’ / tag definitely raises serious index finger. It is definitely weird that ICAO removed the tag against Nepal having 60 years old runway with frequent sentinel events and tragedies. We can support this statement by giving the latest Yeti Air 9N-AHW flying from Nepalgunj, which was skidded off the runway during the landing at around 8:30 pm on 1 September 2018.
What is the center lighting system?
The runway centerline lighting system consists of a single light installed at uniform intervals along the runway centerline to provide a continuous lighting reference from threshold to threshold.
The lights start from 75 ft. (25 m) from the landing threshold and extend to within 75 ft. of the end of the runway—the lights themselves are spaced at 50-ft (15 m) intervals.
When viewed from the landing threshold, the runway centerline lights are white until the last 3000 ft. (900 m) of the runway. The white lights begin to alternate with red for the next 2000 ft. (600 m), and for the last 1000 ft. (300 m) of the runway, all centerline lights are red.
If the runway centerline lights are spaced at 25-ft (7.5 m) intervals, alternate pairs of red and white lights should be used on the section from 3000 to 1000 ft. (900–300 m) from the runway end.
Where the runway is less than a 6000-ft (1800 m) length, the alternate red and white extending from the midpoint of the runway usable for landing to 1000 ft. (300 m) the runway end.
Finally, the issue:
Public Sector Innovator, Dipendra Kandel, has questioned sightedness and anticipation capacity of the officials of CAAN. “Can’t we make the runaway without having a severe accident? Or is CAAN unable to build a runway until its internal report says the tragedy happened due to lack of the latest innovative runway?”
Dipendra Kandel is currently working to empower the whole civil aviation of Nepal. He is also working with other nations on various Public Sector Innovation work. Some believe the incident happened to Mr. Kandel on the Oman Air, when he was flying with family from Muscat To Kathmandu on 8th August 2018, has turned the situation and is a welcome move for the empowerment of Civil Aviation of Nepal.
Currently, Mr. Kandel is in Delhi trying to finalize how he can help national agencies to upgrade the runway of Tribhuvan International Airport to latest international standard, i.e. Runway with Lightning Centerline and that too before further critical events occur.
The Office of Dipendra Kandel