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LHR: Mixed Mode Consultation Delayed  
User currently offlineScotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1276 posts, RR: 3
Posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2320 times:
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The UK government has delayed the start of public consultation on mixed mode operations at LHR for 6 months.

Derek Twigg, a transport minister, admitted in a statement yesterday that the issues surrounding mixed-mode operation at Heathrow were "complex".

It had been decided it would be "prudent" to defer the public consultation.(FT)

LHR ops ceiling is 480K movements/yr. Mixed mode would increase that to 550K/yr. Currently they operate approx 470K/yr. Right now there are no free take-off/landing slots for most of its working day.

I guess something has to be done, and soon if LHR is going to remain the #1 European airport.

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineKaitak744 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2304 times:

Sorry, but what is mixed mode?  Smile

User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2458 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2292 times:

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 1):
Sorry, but what is mixed mode?

Mixed mode lands and departs aircraft on both runway. As opposed to segragated mode which lands on one and departs on another.

User currently offlineV2fix From New Zealand, joined Mar 2003, 368 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2276 times:

Strange this really, as LHR is experienced at mized mode operations and certain times of the day!

Most day early morning you can see both runways being used for landing - handling the early morning rush from flghts from OS, SA and East Coast US.

One the commuter flights kick in (7.00am onwards) such operations has finished.

742; 744; DC10, DC3, 321, 320, 319, 170,190, 772, 773,333, 346, 343
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 13264 posts, RR: 34
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2258 times:

That's a pity; I realise that the issues are complex, but can't some of these issues be addressed as part of the consultation process.

One of the issues, I believe, involves the use of 09L/27R for aircraft using T4; with the runways being in almost constant use, it would be very hard for aircraft to cross the runway. (How BA is going to taxi acft back and forth between T4 and the hangars is another issue!) Perhaps if all BA flights used 27L/09R, it might make life easier - same for KL, QF, KM, UL etc.

Another issue is that there is apparently an agreement with Longford Village (close to the 09L threshhold), under which this runway is not used for departures. That would obviously have an impact on Mixed Mode.

Of course, the main thing that concerns me is that with movements increasing from 470k to 550k a year (80,000, or around 220 a day), that is going to create many new opportunities; obviously, for airlines like BA, it's going to be a goldmine and they will want to use these for long haul flights. But what about short haul, feeder routes, for which access to LHR is extremely important? Will they get a look in, or will the DFTR follow BA's model, or will they suddenly discover what the "R" in their initials means (Regions!)

Personally, I think that the introduction of mixed mode needs to signal a new approach to domestic traffic at LHR. You have the main airports like GLA, EDI and MAN on around 20 a day - these being airports which already have extensive links to European airports; on the other hand, more peripheral airports like Jersey, IOM, Guernsey and others, have been cut out. What happens here? There needs to be a fairer distribution of domestic traffic and HMG needs to recognise its responsibilities, not simply hide behind "convenient" EU regulations, as it has been doing. If higher capacity aircraft were used, the same traffic could be carried on around 12 flights; for a 60-90 minute flight, a high density shuttle service should not be unduly uncomfortable and would allow flights to more peripheral regions to be restored.

Otherwise, if short haul routes are being weeded out, what is the point in building the third runway at all, if it's only going to be 6-7,000' long. Other countries will protect their interests, like the Irish govt has protected the LHR slots of Aer Lingus and the diplomatic response to any attempt to curtail flights by other European carriers (which was attempted in the past!) would rule such a move out, with the result that the only routes which can "safely" be curtailed are UK domestic routes, because the very department which is responsible for regional development has a conflict of interest.

User currently offlineStirling From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 3943 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2153 times:

London Heathrow-The World's Most Interesting Airport.

Kaitak you make an interesting point about domestic UK links to LHR.
How important are they?
With nearly every airport of any size having modest, to extensive connections to the continent, do these airports need the direct link to LHR?

My initial reaction is "No".

In my years of traveling to and from the UK, I have never connected to a domestic connecting flight....always found rail to my final destination to be a more convenient option....am I the exception, or the rule?

Then there is T5.

From what I understand, the new terminal will be able to absorb ALL of BA's LHR operations...OK, we've alleviated the nasty T1/T4 connections (If I understand the new setup correctly), but is having a bunch of narrowbodies and regional jets clogging up runway capacity the answer just because of the new terminal?

Will London lose out, along with the UK as a whole, in this evolving nature of LHR? It would be nice if LHR could be the national air hub like CDG, AMS, MAD, or FRA, but reality being the tough pill to swallow that it is...makes the pursuit futile.

Somehow, someway, the nation synonomous with rail travel is going to have to come up with a way to interlink its airports with highspeed dedicated rail links. Imperative. Getting people to LGW, STN, LCY, and LTN needs to be an ancillary by-product of any LHR improvements....

When T5 comes online (in what 2009?), the problem will be exacerbated...all this efficient landside capacity, strangled by heavily regulated and controlled airside capacity.
BA especially, is going to have a lot of gates, and is going to want to use them....the question is, how?

LHR is near and dear to my heart; an airport I love to hate! But I think it is just that; with so many quirks and nuances to the place, it is just so dang interesting to watch and follow....unlike some antiseptic, bland national airports that are perfect and lovely, expertly planned and executed; that unfortunately have no bloody character at all!

For me, even though many airports in Europe might have a better transit experience, shorter walks, less claustraphobic, more logically laid out....I prefer the nastiness and crowded smelly halls of LHR. Call me crazy! I may bitch and moan for the 2-3 hours I'm there....but deep down, isn't that the true British way???

I know for a fact one day, when the Central Terminal Area has been ploughed under, the cookie-cutter satellite terminals of T5 have been extended to the East....when LHR competes to shoulder to shoulder with airports on the continent....I will be VERY Sad. I will walk the spacious galleries with my grandchildren, doing the "I remember when", waxing nostalgic; forgetting all the bad things I used to say under my breath about that lovely airport on the hike to the gate...or customs...or the connecting terminal....or just to find the tube...whatever....it will all of a sudden become distilled in my mind as a reassuring pleasant memory...forgetting that once upon time, Heathrow, was the airport I loved to hate.

Delete this User
User currently offlineAirA380 From Bangladesh, joined Mar 2006, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2006 times:

LHR slot priority should be given to carriers connecting different continent. London attracts lots business & tourists. LHR is more popular airport for most international passengers; when they look for flight usually LHR comes mind simply because not alot people know STN LTN(most of us here know all the London airport as we are enthusiast but not everyone shares our interest)

I'm flying without wings!!!!!!!!
User currently offlineHS748 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1972 times:

Quoting V2fix (Reply 3):
Strange this really, as LHR is experienced at mized mode operations and certain times of the day!

Not strange at all - the consultation is about giving permission for permanent mixed-mode operations throughout the day, a very different situation to what currently occurs.

User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 8665 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1910 times:

Quoting Scotron11 (Thread starter):
LHR ops ceiling is 480K movements/yr. Mixed mode would increase that to 550K/yr. Currently they operate approx 470K/yr.

It is true that currently LHR operates with about 470K movements a year. It is also true that in THEORY full mixed mode operation could increase this by between 15 and 20 per cent to around 550K per year. But the planning permission to build T5 specifically restricts the total movements to 480K. If this were exceeded then BAA would be open to almost certainly successful legal action by anyone who cared to take them to court. So that is where the 480K ceiling comes from and mixed mode operations only offers a PRACTICAL increase of 10K movements above current levels.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 4):
Another issue is that there is apparently an agreement with Longford Village (close to the 09L threshhold), under which this runway is not used for departures. That would obviously have an impact on Mixed Mode.

Segregated mode at LHR really only operates when approaches are from the east into the prevailing westerly winds. These approaches are entirely over heavily built up areas. Segregation gives residents and businesses relief from aircraft noise up until or after the change over. (If aircraft land on 27R between 0600 and 1500 hours local time they will land on 27L after 1500 hours and vice-versa.)

When approaches are from the west 09L is only used - irrespective of the time - for landings while 09R is mainly used for departures but is operated in a partial mixed mode manner. With an approach from the west, which is primarily over open countryside, there is less concern about noise from aircraft on final. What determines the usual mode of operation here is, as Kaitak points out, the adjacency of Longford village to the west end of 09L/27R. So departures from 09L are effectively banned while there is no restriction on how 09R is used.

I cannot recall seeing a departure from 09L. And there seems to be only a little flexibility to the 29R / 27L rules. On most days they are strictly enforced and the switch from arrival to departure runway occurs almost invariably at exactly 1500 hours. However there are some exceptions. So, for example, on the last day of Concorde operations 27R was the departure runway from 1500 hours onwards. However while there was space to construct spectator stands landside but close to 27R this was not true of 27L. So the three Concordes that were on final together at just after 1600 landed on 27R in front of the viewing stands and all LHR departures were temporarily suspended.

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