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Why No Widebodies At DCA?  
User currently offlineIflyatldl From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1936 posts, RR: 3
Posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3356 times:

Somebody refresh my memory please. What is the restriction that prohibits widebody operations at DCA, besides the obvious govt.? Doesn't it have something to do with engine failure? Sorry if this thread's a repeat.


Ah, Summer, Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox and Beer.....
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJpetekYXMD80 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 4378 posts, RR: 27
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3344 times:

Runway length.
Thats basically it, no widebody modereatly heavy getting out of there.



The Best Care in the Air, 1984-2009
User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6521 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3250 times:

Largest aircraft that is allowed to fly into DCA is the B757. A 767 could theoretically fly from there for short hops (to ATL for example), but it's not allowed to, and would probably be weight restricted to a certain extent.


Stephen in New Orleans


User currently offlineWorldperks From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3228 times:

The runways at DCA are 6869 feet and 5204 feet respectively. Not a lot of room for error. Even if stage 4 767s were allowed, they'd be risky to land.



User currently offlineKellmark From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 691 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3148 times:

It has nothing to do with aircraft performance. It is a political restriction. Remember widebodies operate regularly out of LGA which is only slightly longer at 7,000 feet. They want all of the widebodies to go to IAD and BWI. One time as I recall, a United DC-10 did land at DCA but it was an abnormal operation, to say the least.

User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4488 posts, RR: 33
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 3072 times:

Kellmark is correct. The restriction is primarily political; wealthy Alexandria and Georgetown NIMBY's don't want "noisier" bigger planes (which as we know are often quieter) at DCA. Also, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is always trying to push traffic to IAD and wants all widebodies there.

The UA DC-10 that landed at DCA in 1998 or 1999 was a diversion. It was flying ORD-BWI and ran low on fuel while holding for a thunderstorm to pass at BWI. So it was diverted to DCA and the pax bused to BWI. The Washington Post had a picture of the DC-10 parked by the old DCA terminal.

Also, Eastern landed at least one A300 at DCA around 1980 as an experiment; I've seen a picture but can't remember where.

Jim


User currently offlineFlyPIJets From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 874 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2995 times:

The reason you don't see widebodies at DCA I think is political but may not be as NIMBY as you might think.

When widebodies first started to fly in the 70's, there was panic among several airport authorities, namely DCA and LGA, over terminal capacity. They assumed a worse case, every aircraft is going to hold 400 pax, what are we going to do?

I think solving that delimina for DCA is why widebodies are routed to IAD, and DCA was not upgraded to handle large A/C.




DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, F28, 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, IL-62, L-1011, MD-82/83, YS-11, DHC-8, PA-28-161, ERJ 135/145, E-1
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2890 times:

Eastern lobbied very hard to get A300 ops into DCA as they had put the type into service on their Eastern Shuttle routes.

User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 8, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2852 times:

Most of it was political - they wanted to grow IAD when it opened.

NIMBY's want no planes, they could care less which type they are.  Laugh out loud

N


User currently offlineContrails From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2764 times:

I agree that it's mostly political, although there is a width problem to consider. According to the airport authority the length of the plane doesn't matter as much as the wing span. But the neighbors would rush to Congressman Moran's office by the bus load at the first suggestion of wide-body service at DCA.

This has been covered in other threads in the past, but a UA DC-10 did land at DCA a few years back. They parked it on the south end by the FBO, that was the only place with enough room.



Flying Colors Forever!
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2726 times:

>>>The UA DC-10 that landed at DCA in 1998 or 1999 was a diversion. It was flying ORD-BWI and ran low on fuel while holding for a thunderstorm to pass at BWI. So it was diverted to DCA and the pax bused to BWI.

This was a good one...actually in the 1990s IIRC. The flight was ORD-BWI and the dispatcher had MDT (Harrisburg PA) designated as the alternate for BWI. There's a thunderstorm overhead BWI when they get there, and after holding, the captain (on his own) heads for IAD. When he gets to IAD, surprise! there's a thunderstorm there as well. Off he then goes (again, on his own) to DCA. MDT was clear and a zillion the entire time...

As Strother Martin (the warden in "Cool Hand Luke") once said, "what we have here is a failure to communicate..."


User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2616 times:

Some of it also has to do with 9/11, although I don't understand why. For a period of time after 9/11, right after DCA was reopened, airlines couldn't even fly 757s to DCA. That restriction has since been lifted.

However, the ramp at DCA is also very small, and the gate areas are quite compact compared to other airports. Getting a 757 in there is difficult enough, a 767 would probably cause even more problems. Yes, the politics plays into it, but I think the logistics are also a big factor.



"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineCoronado990 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1597 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2470 times:

Doesn't the thickness of a runway dictate how much load it can bare? Several DC-10s over time can ware down a runway not designed to handle that amount of abuse. I am not sure this may be the case at DCA, but it has to be considered.

Didn't a Western 737 land, by accident, at Buffalo, Wyoming once (instead of Sheridan) and the wheels sank into the asphalt at the small GA airport? I think it was in the mid-80s.



Uncle SAN at your service!
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