Upgrade will allow airport to handle Boeing 777s
Paris airports operator Aéroports de Paris (ADP) is to close one of its runways at Orly airport to start €30 million ($36 million) worth of upgrade work, allowing the airport to handle the heavyweight Boeing 777-300ER.
ADP says it will use two other runways during the work, which began at the end of March and will last until the beginning of June. The airport operator is warning that the reduced capacity will cause congestion at peak times.
ADP last year discovered that the runway could be damaged by intensive operations by Air France’s 777-300ERs. The airline – which already operates 777-300ERs from Paris Charles de Gaulle – is planning to base seven aircraft at Orly from May for dedicated routes to French territories.
Each of the two main-gear legs on the 777-300ER supports 46% of the aircraft’s 352t weight distributed between six wheels, while the Boeing 747-400ER – although having an all-up mass of 414t – carries its weight on four main-gear legs, each supporting 23% of the aircraft’s weight. Each main-gear bogie has four wheels. ADP says the runway upgrade will allow French carrier Corsair to expand its fleet of four Boeing 747-400s.
AIMEE TURNER / PARIS