April 23, 2015
Main Runway Now Fully Operational
Halifax Stanfield’s main runway (05/23) is now fully operational.
The runway was closed after the aircraft crash of March 29. It reopened, with some limitations, on April 9.
NAVCANADA has finished its work to repair the antenna array damaged in the crash, and the appropriate testing of the navigational aids has been completed. Damaged runway approach lights have also been repaired.
The runway is now operating as it was before March 29.
April 9, 2015
Main Runway to Open This Evening
Halifax Stanfield’s main runway (05/23), which has been closed since the aircraft crash of March 29, will re-open, with some limitations, at 8 p.m. today. The runway has been cleaned; it has undergone an environmental assessment; successful surface testing; and its lighting systems have been checked and verified.
Re-opening the main runway increases the airport’s overall airfield availability. It lowers the airport’s susceptibility to unfavourable wind conditions, although low visibility such as fog or heavy snow, could still lead to airline schedule disruptions.
There is more work to be done before the main runway will be fully available. NAVCANADA is working diligently to bring the damaged antenna array back into service as soon as possible. A timeframe for the main runway’s full availability is still uncertain.
Halifax Stanfield has been operating solely on its secondary runway (14/32) since March 29. Weather conditions over the past 10 days have been quite favourable, with only minor schedule disruptions.
April 7, 2015
Airport Operational Update
Halifax Stanfield continues to operate on its secondary runway (14/32). This runway can handle all of the airport’s scheduled arrivals and departures. Weather conditions for the past week have been favourable, with only minor disruptions to airline flight schedules. Unfavourable weather conditions, such as changes in wind direction/strength, poor visibility, etc., could affect airline schedules. The Airport Authority will continue to monitor weather conditions and provide updates such as this one, and through our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
A great deal of work has been done in the past week aimed at getting the main runway (05/23) back in service. The environmental assessment around the runway has been completed. An assessment of any damage to the runway edge lighting, and repairs to the approach lighting and the localizer antennae are underway. The Airport Authority is working closely with relevant agencies and consultants to ensure this process is thorough and efficient. At this point, it’s not certain when the runway will be available, although every effort is being made to bring it into service as soon as possible.
April 2, 2015 – Afternoon Update
Halifax Stanfield continues to operate on its secondary runway (14/32). This runway can handle all scheduled traffic at the airport, as long as weather conditions are favourable. Unfavourable weather conditions, such as changes in wind direction, poor visibility, etc. could affect airline schedules.
Early this morning we conducted a controlled test of the terminal building’s back-up electrical generators. The testing went as planned with no disruption of power to the terminal building. Our investigation into what caused last Sunday’s unexpected shut-down of generators continues.
We are also conducting a thorough inspection of the main runway (05/23), which is currently out of service. This inspection will assess the condition of the runway surface, any damages to airfield lighting, and any impact on the surrounding environment. Once the runway and surrounding areas are cleared and safe for use, it will be placed back in service.
April 1, 2015 – Afternoon Update
Our review of the terminal building’s back-up electrical generators is underway. These two generators activated when we lost power early Sunday morning, but ran for only a short period of time before shutting down. We are investigating what caused the unexpected shut-down.
As part of this investigation we will be conducting a controlled test of the terminal building’s back-up power generators between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Thursday, April 2, 2015. During the test, the terminal building may experience a very brief power interruption. It’s not expected to impact scheduled airline flight operations.
April 1, 2015 – Morning Update
As of this morning, Halifax Stanfield is operating fully on one of its two runways (14/32). Travellers are encouraged to check with their airline directly for flight schedule updates.
Normal flight operations will continue on runway 14/32, as long as weather conditions are favourable. However, unfavourable weather conditions such as changes in wind direction, poor visibility, etc. could affect airline schedules.
Yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, March 31, 2015), the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) completed its onsite examination regarding Air Canada Flight 624.
Subsequently, Air Canada removed the aircraft from the airport’s main runway (05/23).
This runway remains out of operation until we finish our inspection, assess any damage, and make any necessary repairs. We will work to get this done as quickly as possible. Once the runway is cleared and safe for use, it will be placed back in service. Its availability will be somewhat limited until its navigational aids are repaired.
NAVCANADA has started its assessment of those navigational aids, damaged during the incident. It is uncertain at this time how long it will take NAVCANADA to make those repairs.
Our review of the terminal building’s back-up electrical generators is underway. These two generators activated when we lost the Nova Scotia Power feed early Sunday morning, but ran for only a short period of time before shutting down. We are investigating what caused that unexpected shut-down.
We appreciate your understanding as we work through this extraordinary situation.
March 30, 2015
A Recap of What Happened
Early Sunday morning, at approximately 12:30 a.m., flight AC624 inbound from Toronto crashed on-approach to runway 05 at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The incident is still under investigation by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).
Air Canada reported that there were 133 passengers and five crew members on board. We are very grateful that no one was seriously hurt, although 25 people were transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The airfield was closed until approximately 6:00 a.m. when flight operations resumed on runway 14/32.
HIAA Emergency Response Services responded immediately, arriving at the scene, nearly two kilometers away, within 90 seconds. Their immediate task was to ensure the plane was fully evacuated and then to take on the challenge of mitigating any chance of fire or explosion.
Once these primary responsibilities were addressed, they assisted the passengers.
Loss of Power
As a result of the aircraft incident, the airport lost its main power feed from Nova Scotia Power (NSP), which automatically activated the airport’s three emergency power generators.
One generator is dedicated to the airfield. It came on and continued operating until regular service was restored. This means that there was virtually no interruption in airfield lighting.
The other two generators provide electricity to the Air Terminal Building (ATB). These two generators work in tandem. They also came on and provided power to the ATB, but only for a short period of time before shutting down. We are investigating what caused the unexpected shut-down.
Nova Scotia Power restored full service to the airport before 2:00 a.m.
First and foremost we are reviewing our entire response to this situation, a review that will include Air Canada and other stakeholders. Our internal review began at 8:30 a.m. this morning. We are looking at what we did well and at the things we can improve upon and build into our plans and standard operating procedures.
Airport operations are continuing on runway 14/32. However, runway 05/23 remains closed as the Transportation Safety Board continues its investigation. Once the TSB has completed its work, they will release the runway back to us. Then we will do an assessment of damage to the runway and begin clean up in collaboration with Air Canada, which could take several days.
We will work to get runway 05/23 operational as quickly as possible. However, it will likely take a minimum of at least a month before the navigational aids, damaged during the incident, can be replaced by NavCanada. This means that unfavourable weather conditions (wind, poor visibility, etc.) could affect airline flight schedules.
We appreciate your understanding and thank you for your continued support.