China Eastern Airlines has completed the nation’s first extreme low visibility take-off and landing tests at Beijing’s new mega airport.
An Airbus 320 with the Shanghai-based carrier took off from the 01L runway at Beijing Daxing International Airport on Monday evening. The pilot simulated conditions of a runway visual range (RVR) of 75 meters and took off with the help of a head-up display screen.
Pilot Shang Feng, an experienced captain who has flown for over 41,500 hours, later conducted a Category-IIIB landing, known as a “blind landing,” when visibility is lower than 175 meters and landing height lower than 15 meters.
Previously, domestic airports had only conducted takeoff certification at a runway visual range was 90 meters and Category-IIIA landing when visibility was over 175 meters.
The success of the tests enables pilots to take off or land at Daxing in haze or other low visibility conditions, China Eastern said on Tuesday.
“The airport was built with the world’s most advanced Category-IIIB landing and RVR75 takeoff standards, which can effectively ensure normal operation of the airport and flights’ on-time rate,” said Shang.
As one of the carriers based at the airport, China Eastern has taken part in four major maneuvers with other domestic carriers to ensure smooth operation after it opens in September, the airline said.
Meanwhile, China’s domestically developed regional jet ARJ21 made its first test flight at the airport on Monday.
The No. B-603N ARJ21 with Chengdu Airlines, its first and biggest operator, landed at the airport at 9pm on Monday and conducted tests on the A-SMGCS (Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System), ice removal and bridge approach.
Daxing airport, expected to open on September 30, aims to meet a soaring demand for air travel and relieve the air-service demand and relieve pressure on Beijing Capital International Airport.
The new airport, near the junction of Beijing’s Daxing District and Langfang in north Hebei Province, is expected to handle 45 million passengers a year by 2021 and 72 million by 2025, making it one of the busiest in the world on par with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States.
Covering a land area of 47 square kilometers, the new airport will be double the size of the capital airport, currently China’s largest.
Four runways will be ready when the airport opens, with a total of seven planned.
China Eastern and China Southern airlines will relocate 10 percent of their flights to Daxing. China United Airlines, Capital Airlines, Hebei Airlines and Xiamen Airlines will also be among the first carriers to relocate to the new facility.
China Eastern will keep operating most of its Beijing-Shanghai express flights at the capital airport, but relocate some flights to Daxing in winter, the carrier said.