Airport instrument system to be activated once weather clears up
Dec 15, 2009
Dec 16, 2009
The ten and a half million-dollar improvement project to Laredo’s airport is inconveniencing a lot of people who fly and our recent wet and foggy weather hasn't made things easier.
A landing system has been turned off as a result of the construction making it much harder and in some cases impossible for pilots to land.
Improvements being made to the airport have been shaking things up for not only passengers aboard flights, but also the pilots of those planes:
"The inclement weather causes for the pilots to want to divert to another airport where they can land and they feel safest about it."
A quick look at the map of the Laredo International Airport shows three runways. One is under construction because it still needs to be painted, the other one is operable but it intersects with the one under construction. Now, all planes are currently landing on this runway but it's not equipped with an instrumental landing system.
"Because of ongoing construction the ILS system has to be turned off. The ILS system allows a pilot to make a precision approach on to the runway. With that system out and inclement weather the pilot decides if he wants to make an approach or not to the airport."
One passenger recalls what people have been experiencing on flights to Laredo recently:
"It was frustrating for one and number two the airlines did not mention anything of they were not goint to be landing here in Laredo."
He says safety trumps convenience, obviously, but it’s not fair for the airline to take their money and give no explanation as to why they are heading to another airport until they're practically there:
"This is frustrating. We lost money and time, and we're not willing to go with these airlines again."
The airport manager says these complaints, however, pertain to the airline not the airport:
"We provide the facility, we provide services, we try to accommodate the airlines and passengers to the best of our abilities but it’s the relationship between the passenger and the airline."
The FAA inspected the Instrumental Landing System this morning and reported it can be turned on once the stripes, letters, and numbers are painted on to the primary runway.
That is expected to be complete once the weather clears up.