The north runway at Taoyuan International Airport reopened at 8:00 this morning after nine months of reconstruction work to accommodate larger aircraft like the Airbus A380, the Central News Agency reported. The work also included lighting upgrades to CATII standards and drainage improvements.
The reconstruction of the north runway followed similar work on the south runway, which reopened January 8, 2015. Work on the north runway was completed ahead of schedule–the original timeframe estimated the reopening to be January 8, 2016, which was still a month before the Chinese New Year travel rush.
The reopening of the north runway is expected to increase the on-time rate at Taoyuan Airport, which is currently at 85%. The peak hour aircraft movements at the airport will increase to 50 per hour. According to Taoyuan International Airport Corp. statistics, the airport served 35.8 million passengers in 2014, with a total of 40 million expected by year-end.
According to UDN, the additional runway will save airlines NT$200 million per year in fuel costs. Some airlines expect the dual runways to also improve flight schedules, with more daytime flights and fewer red-eye flights.
A reopening ceremony will be held with President Ma Ying-jeou expected to be in attendance.