Macau’s Civil Aviation Authority has adopted a procedure approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization that allows aircraft to continue their approach to the airport’s southward runway (runway 16) at a minimum visibility of 900 meters, while their pilots must have the sight of the runway at least 270 feet above the ground.
The new procedure will assist pilots in landing aircraft in bad weather or at times of poor visibility.
The previous requirements were 3,600 meters and 720 feet respectively.
The runway of the Macau International Airport runs north to south, with aircraft approaching from the north or south depending on the direction of wind. When flights need to land in Macau in poor weather conditions with southerly winds, it can be very challenging. Many flights have needed to be diverted to other airports.
The cause of the difficulty is that aircrafts are not permitted to fly over Zhuhai. Accordingly, the sharp turn that aircrafts need to maneuver so that they can align with the runway from the north is difficult during bad weather with low cloud.
Currently, the Civil Aviation Authority has issued interim permission for Air Macau to employ the new procedure. Full permission will be given if Air Macau shows proficiency operating it. An observation period will last for several months. Staff reporter