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Wind Study – no need for cross-wind runway

Wind Study – no need for cross-wind runway


The wind study being carried out at the Argyle International Airport site is indicating that there is no need for the construction of a cross-wind runway.

This was disclosed by Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves on Monday, January 11, 2009, as he gave an update on the work carried at the airport construction site.{{more}}

Gonsalves told the nation that wind data collected during the past three and a half years starting from March 2006 are suggesting that there is no significant cross-wind component to necessitate the construction of a cross-wind runway.

The prime minister, citing International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, explained the main runway of the airport must be positioned to guarantee at least 95 per cent of aircraft operations without cross-winds exceeding 20 knots.

The ICAO has set requirements which mandate that winds must be less than 10 knots for runways that are less than 1,200 metres, less than 13 knots for runways between 1200-1,500 metres, and less than 20 knots for runways that are 1,500 metres upwards. The runway at Argyle, which will measure 2,743 metres or 9,000 feet falls in the latter bracket.

To meet the ICAO standards the organization also requires that wind studies must be carried out for a period no less than five years.

Gonsalves reported that the results from the data at Argyle show that the predominant winds there are from East-North-East and the East with an average intensity that does not exceed 15 knots.

“This wind speed and direction represent an even smaller cross-wind component that favours the takeoff and landing operations of aircraft giving the 02/20 orientation of the Argyle Airport Runway,” said Gonsalves.

By March 2012, the date set for the completion of the airport, the IADC will have collected six years of data.

“If at any stage, the result of our wind study suggests the need for a cross-wind runway for the smallest planes that are affected by high wind gusts, one will have to be designed and built in accordance with the earlier policy decision and in consideration of the safety of small aircrafts that will be operating at the Argyle airport,” said Gonsalves.

He said a report submitted by MM&M Consultants had noted that the construction of the cross-wind runway will cost less than half of 1 per cent of the cost of the project.

“This issue is a mole hill where people are trying to make a mountain,” said Gonsalves.

Wind data for the past three and a half years have been collected from three wind stations installed within the airport zone. These stations are located at the northern and southern end of the runway and close to the IADC’s office. The data are analyzed by IADC associated meteorologists at the E.T Joshua Airport and in Venezuela.