05 Dec 2012
Implementation of category IIIB at Almaty International Airport
The category IIIB was applied December 03, 08:40 pm to December 04, 04:03 am at Almaty International Airport due to weather conditions. Thanks to this category of the runway and aerodrome lighting equipment 7 aircraft (5 passenger aircraft, and 2 cargo aircraft) landed within several hours:
1) At 09:05 pm Air Astana’s Airbus 320 operating the flight КС 912 en-route Istanbul – Almaty landed when vertical visibility was 80 meters, and horizontal visibility was 125 meters;
2) At 09:19 pm Scat’s Boeing 757 operating the flight DV 705 en-route Shymkent – Almaty landed when both vertical visibility and horizontal visibility were 100 meters;
3) At 10:43 pm Air Astana’s Airbus 320 operating the flight КС 992 from Astana to Almaty landed when vertical visibility was 80 meters, and horizontal visibility was 75 meters;
4) At 11:33 pm Air Cargo Germany’s Boeing 747 operating the cargo flight ACX 8611 en-route Frankfurt – Almaty – Shanghai landed when vertical visibility was 70 meters, and horizontal visibility was 75 meters;
5) At 11:48 pm Air Astana’s Boeing 757 operating the flight КС 856 from Astana to Almaty landed when vertical visibility was 50 meters, and horizontal visibility was 75 meters;
6) At 00:38 am on 04.12.2012 Czech Airlines’ Airbus 319 operating the passenger flight ОК 0180 en-route Prague – Almaty landed when vertical visibility was 20 meters, and horizontal visibility was 75 meters;
7) At 01:32 am on 04.12.2012 Lufthansa Cargo’s MD-11 operating the cargo flight GEC 8453 en-route Hong-Kong – Almaty – Frankfurt landed when vertical visibility was 25 meters, and horizontal visibility was 125 meters.
Today Almaty International Airport is the first and the only one airport in the CIS having the category III B which was implemented first on December 19, 2011.
Earlier Almaty Airport’s lighting equipment system met the requirements of the ICAO CAT III A which ensured precision approach when the runway visibility was more than 200 meters, therefore many aircraft had to be diverted to alternate aerodromes. Now the airport runway and aerodrome ensure the landing of aircraft under the ICAO category IIIB when visibility is not less than 75 m, which has significantly decreased the number of flights diverted to alternate aerodromes, so passengers can fly to the destination points on time and do not suffer the inconvenience of the canceled or delayed flights.
It should be noted that an aircraft can land under the category III B weather minima if the following three conditions are met: appropriate airfield equipment, aircraft, and aircrew. Furthermore, the most qualified aircrews only can be approved for work in adverse weather conditions, and they must have relevant certificates as well. Therefore Almaty airport advised the airlines in advance on implementation of the category IIIB, and subsequently the airlines began to recruit more qualified pilots.
Implementation of the ICAO category IIIB makes the Almaty airport with regard to the technical equipment one of the best airports worldwide.