Flights at Goose Bay airport moving on schedule, large runway remains closed
Experts still trying to determine why runway sealant came loose and stuck to snowplow tires
The airport in Goose Bay is finally back to a normal operating schedule, despite being limited to one runway following last week's closure.
Last Tuesday, snowclearing crews discovered sealant used to fix cracks on the runways was sticking to their tires, which caused all runways to be closed for more than two days as a safety precaution.
On Friday, one of the runways was opened for a four-hour window to allow some flights to get in and out of Goose Bay, and then later in the day the decision was made to keep the same runway to open indefinitely.
Lt. Trevor Ackland says even though only the smaller of the two runways is open, flight schedules are back to normal with a few changes in how the planes taxi before and after takeoff.
"There are a few issues with ensuring the planes are going to the right locations so they don't end up getting any of the sealant on their tires, but that's what we're currently concentrating on repairing," he said.
With regards to the remediation work to clear the airfield of the problematic sealant, Ackland said experts are still working to make sure all the material has been removed from the runways and taxiways near the airport.
You can see some of the cracks in the runway here. <a href="https://t.co/MbLppMiD1t">pic.twitter.com/MbLppMiD1t</a>—@KatieBreenNL
Some extra equipment arrived Sunday evening to help with that effort, and more meetings are planned for Monday to discuss the issue. Ackland said the media will get an update once that happens.
While right now the priority is removing the sticky sealant and making the airfield safe, Ackland said an investigation into what happened will take place.
However, from early conversations he's had, he said even the manufacturer is a bit baffled at why the sealant was so sticky in this case, and says it seems to be the first time it's ever happened.