Civil Aviation authorities said their repaired one of the three devices that were out of operation at the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), known as the San Jose airport, a situation that made landings in bad weather difficult.
The Dirección General de Aviación Civil confirmed that the glide path, also known as Glide Slope, was put into operation last Wednesday.
This device allows pilots to perform the descent maneuver accurately, especially under bad weather conditions.
“It improves the landing conditions, because the Glide Slope allows the pilot a safe landing in adverse weather conditions, such as visibility reduced by fog, rain or others, maintaining a gliding slope that releases obstacles to reach the track at the point of correct contact,” said Deputy Director of Civil Aviation, Álvaro Vargas.
However, the Precision approach path indicator (PAPI) lights are still out of operation. Aviation authorities prioritized the replacement of the Glide Slope because, according to them, it was the element that would facilitate the landings at the Juan Santamaría.
Now, the next step will be to fix the precision or PAPI lights placed on the sides of runway 07 of the airport (west-east), damaged during a recent thunderstorm.
“The replacement card of the PAPI lights is planned to be installed on October 1st and one day later they will be operational. A specialized technician team will come from Amsterdam (Holland). This is an approach system of lights, which are the visual indicators of fundamental help to establish a slope of correct planning towards the runway,” said Vargas.
The PAPI lights system is very helpful for pilots during at night or at times of poor visibility.
“Also when other circumstances arise, for example, where the depth of the runway with the naked eye can cause the pilot confusion during his approach to the ground,” Vargas said.
Meanwhile, authorities did not specify when they will repair the approach lights, which are working partially.
The breakdown of these three devices further complicated the landing of flights on September 16, when Aeris, the terminal’s management company, reported the diversion of eight planes to other airports in Central America.
Another eight flights did not depart from their point of origin, while three more were delayed.
That night a strong presence of mist was reported, which, due to the breakdown of these devices, made the landing of planes at the SJO even more difficult.