Thursday, August 30, 2007

Slippery when wet: Rio's Santos-Dumont airport

Santos-Dumas Airport, Rio de JaneiroPilots flying for TAM, Gol and Varig, three of Brazil's largest carriers, have been told not to land at Santos-Dumont Airport (SDU), Rio de Janeiro's domestic airport, while it is raining. An International Herald Tribune story about the landing prohibition reports that the carriers were responding to an alert from the Department for Airspace Control. Flights inbound to SDU will be rerouted to Rio's international airport.
"The note to pilots says that the runway of Santos Dumont is slippery when wet," said a TAM press officer who asked not to be identified in accordance with company policy. "So TAM ordered its pilots not to land there in the rain."
The official quoted by the Associated Press also said that TAM pilots are not to land on rainy days on the main runway at Congonhas until the grooving on that runway has been completed.

Commenting on the new rainy day rule, Flight notes that the ruling made by the Department for Airspace Control on 28 August comes as a result of the TAM A320 crash at Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport on 17 July where it sped off the runway, crashed into a gas station and exploded killing 199 people.

[Photo Source]