Pothole in Taoyuan Airport runway delays 121 flights

12 March 2019 (Last Updated March 12th, 2019 10:54)

Around 121 flights were unable to depart on time on 10 March after a pothole was found in the south runway of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Pothole in Taoyuan Airport runway delays 121 flights
Nearly 121 flights delayed due to a pothole in Taoyuan Airport runway. Credit: Michal Mrozek on Unsplash.

Around 121 flights were unable to depart on time on 10 March after a pothole was found in the south runway of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

The 45cm long, 30cm wide and 3cm deep pothole was discovered at about 6pm on 9 February during a routine inspection.

Taoyuan International Airport Corporation (TIAC), a government-owned firm responsible for the management of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, said that flights were delayed by an average of 52 minutes.

“The runway was reopened during the early hours of Sunday after the pothole was repaired.”

According to TIAC, the problem caused a nine-hour delay to a Singapore-bound flight operated by Scoot. The Scoot flight, which departed from Japan’s Hokkaido Airport, was scheduled to arrive in Singapore via Taiwan.

According to the schedule, the aircraft should have landed at Taoyuan Airport at 9:20pm on 9 February and departed at 10:20pm that same day, but it was forced to divert to Kaohsiung Airport after the pothole was found.

TIAC said that the runway was reopened during the early hours of Sunday after the pothole was repaired.

The 121 delayed flights consisted of 85 inbound and 36 outbound flights. Almost eight inbound flights were diverted to Kaohsiung Airport, including four operated by China Airlines, two by EVA Air, and one each from Scoot and Tigerair Taiwan, according to TIAC.

This was not the first time a pothole was discovered in the runway. Problems with the south runway first surfaced in October 2015.

In 2017, the TIAC shut down the runway for 16 hours to repair a crack.