Airplane ATR-72 is in the sky, but due to the leak of fuel cannot continue. It does not have time even to reach the reserve airfield. The only way is to land in Kyiv Zhuliany airport, but the airport is dead. How to land an airplane with several tens of passengers on board on a completely dark airfield ForUm has learned during the training in Zhuliany airport.

According to the legend, the airplane is leaking fuel or has some other emergency, due to which it has to land urgently in Zhuliany. The airport, however, does not have electricity at the moment. The landing strip is dark and the pilot does not see where to land. The airport is located within the city and surrounded by residential area. 300-400 airplanes fly over Kyiv in various directions every day. In order to avoid a tragedy the airplane must be landed only within the landing strip. During the day the pilot can see it even from far above, but during the night the rescue team of the airport must prepare it within minutes.

"The main goal of this training is well coordinated work of the rescue team under the condition of power failure. In the result of the training, we have seen that the rescue team and fire brigade made the following works: lightened the threshold and sides of the landing strip manually with open fire and mobile light guns working on diesel generators; lightened the landing zone sign, so the pilot knew when to lower gears; covered the landing strip with foam to avoid possible fire outbreak," director general of "Master-Avia" LLC Oleksandr Yakovets told.  

Summing up the training he said that according to the legend, the plane successfully landed under the condition of darkness and malfunctioning of runway lighting system. After the training the landing strip was cleaned from foam and the airport returned to its routine work. Having saved the plane and the lives, the rescue team and fire brigade left to finish their shift. There are 36 people on duty in the airport working 24 hours to challenge any emergency.

Though there have not been any problems with the power, the airport must be ready anyway, Yakovets says. "There is a small possibility it may happen. The airport has finished reconstruction works of almost all objects, except for external engineering networks, including power lines. There is a problem with financing. The city authorities were supposed to allocate UAH 52 million for the reconstruction works, but we have realized only 35 million so far. We need other 17 million, but it is September already and the money has not been transferred yet. We ask the authorities to complete the financing, so we enter winter all well prepared," he asked. 

The training was held without the plane АТR-72 because Zhuliany does not have its own planes. "All these planes belong to private companies. We have only one state airlines "Ukraine". A plane costs about $60 million and owners do not welcome even a slightest scratch on it," director general of "Master-Avia" LLC says. In 8 minutes after the training the airport returned to its routine, but in real situation it will depend on the landing itself, as the airport plans on increase of passenger flow.

"By October we plan to reach 600-thousand-passenger-flow and by the yearend - 900-920 thousand. International traffic makes 80%," Yakovets said and added it was the first large-scale training for seven years he has been working there. The main reason for lack of training is small passenger flow and poor financing. "Two years we simply did not have money to hold similar trainings. Now the financial situation of the enterprise is improving," he noted.

Tetyana Hryhorieva, photos by Viktor Kovalchuk


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