Wlwjr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 72 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (5 years 21 hours ago) and read 4843 times:
Why does every one think a 767 cannot land at DCA?..
Sure it can. LGA's runways are just over 100 feet longer than DCA and DC-10s, L-1011s and 767s have been landing at LGA for years...before it became a "regional" airport.
Keep in mind that the aircraft in question is coming from/going to ATL, so it will be relatively light.
(This is not to say that I am convinced at this time the flight will operate even with performance criteria being met. Other factors have to be considered such as taxi and gate operations. I have heard over the years through rumor that the 767 is able to operate into DCA as a "regular airport" per approved Operations Specifications, but I have never seen it in writing. There have been no proving flights at DCA for the 767-300!).
It has to be kept in the back of one's mind that it has less to do with runway length at DCA but rather politics that keep large(r) aircraft from DCA. Local politicians have been wanting to keep large (widebody) aircraft from operating at DCA per the request of area residents for decades. They would close DCA down at the request of many local civic groups if it was not so close to Capital Hill.
A DC-10 diverted from BWI into DCA in the late-90s after being bounced around between BWI and IAD with bad weather at both airports. Of course, not listed in the Ops Specs as a regular, provisional, alternate, or refueling airport it could not take passengers from the airport and there was no equipment to unload baggage containers. The aircraft later flew (ferried) empty (with bags) over to BWI. http://www2.airliners.net/aviation-f.../general_aviation/read.main/78705/
Eastern attempted to prove the A300 into DCA at least three times to operate the Eastern Shuttle, but it was turned down.
With all that said, it does not always come down to runway length as a limiting factor, but also missed approach/climb performance with an engine inoperative. Of course in the case of a 767, that means single-engine missed approach/climb performance. 2nd Segment climb is the most critical and often the most violated. However, with the cooler temperatures, and with a far from full load (of fuel), performance is not really a factor for the upcoming scheduled flight. Again, not that I convinced it will operate considering other criteria that must be met, but it will be interesting if it does, and in which case, I will be there....
(Unrelated note: A VC-137 as (AF1) and a Pan Am 707 have visited DCA).