UAPilot7 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 338 posts, RR: 1 Posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 755 times:
Why isn't Washington RR National airport an internationlal airport. I asked why Albany was an international airport a long time ago, and I was told because airlines fly through Albany to Canada, it is considered international flights, making the airport international. Well, Air Canada has DCA-Canada flights! Why is DCA not international too? And the stupidest thing, at 9pm, DCA turns off the monitors (that report landings, delays, etc.), even though the airport closes at 11pm!
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 627 times:
DCA's longest runway is only about 7,000 feet, which isn't long enough to obtain high enough takeoff weights needed for longer-haul flights. Not only that, widebody aircraft are prohibited there, and narrow-bodied aircraft can only go so far. Let's also not forget about the perimeter rule, which limits flights to points no further than (I recall) 1,250nm. DCA does have some flights to Canada (Toronto and Montreal) I think, and US Customs isn't needed at DCA for the inbound flights because passengers for these flights "pre-clear" US Customs before boarding the aircraft in Canada.
So, even though DCA has a couple of international flights, there are so many restrictions involved with operating at the airport that it will never be a major international airport like JFK, SFO, MIA, or LAX.
D L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 10561 posts, RR: 53 Reply 4, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 624 times:
The reasons why DCA is not an international airport seem to be spelled out nicely in earlier replies. It is noteworthy that there is nothing special about having the word "international" in your title. It just means an international flight (as in outside US and Canada) can land there. You'll see a whole bunch of little tiny airports along the Mexican border that are called international airports since every now and then a Cessna from south of the border will land there. Other much smaller cities like Huntsville Alabama claim international airports as well.
About the widebodies. Are you sure about that OPNLguy? I've been wondering for a while if that's really the case since LGA has similar runway restrictions and a perimeter, however, 767s and L1011s even operate there. One of the design requirements imposed by AA for the DC10 was that it had to fly from LGA. I figured they didn't go to DCA because it wasn't a very good use for them with the perimeter, and so they were used elsewhere. I guess widebody wakes would probably also wreck havoc with the famous Shoot-the-Potomac approach.
Last summer during one of our crazy thunderstorms, a DC10 from Chicago to BWI arrived and found the airport closed, and unable to land. Being a UA jet, Dulles was of course the best option for diversion. When it got there, a new cell popped up, and it couldn't land there either. By now, the fuel reserves are approaching their legal safe limit, meaning Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Richmond were too far away to reach legally. So, the plane diverted to National, and I guess everyone was bussed to B-more. I believe the plane was then flown out to B-more without the passengers and cargo.
WentOnA777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 613 times:
Regarding DCA's monitors....I don't think they are shut off at 9 PM. I have flown into DCA on flights after 9 (one was after 10) in the past few months, and the monitors were still on (but showing very little activity).
Bo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 609 times:
But theoretically, assuming no rejected takeoffs, etc, what is the largest possible aircraft that could land at DCA under normal conditions....i.e. with normal load of pax and cargo---not just an empty ferry flight?
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 598 times:
About 99.9% sure DLX.
I seem to recall that Eastern got a waiver to try their new A300s in there years ago, but it obviously didn't last and their 757s ended up being much quieter and I'm sure it better pleased DCA's neighbors.
Re: the DC-10 that diverted in there a couple of years ago, DCA wasn't an authorized DC-10 alternate for the intended IAD destination. BWI was, and when unable to get into there, he went to DCA presumably on his emergency authority. Ironic thing is that he also probably diverted to Andrews AFB (a stone's throw from DCA) since most airlines can designate military airports as alternates and actually divert to them if needed. There wouldn't have been any United folks there, obviously, but it sure wouldn't have taken long for some to get there from DCA with fresh paperwork for the flight back to IAD once they got fuel at Andrews and the weather at IAD improved.
D L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 10561 posts, RR: 53 Reply 11, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 596 times:
OPNLguy, are we talking about the same incident? The one I'm refering to happened less than a year ago (I'm pretty sure summer 99) and it was the daily DC10 ORD-BWI. I spot in DCA and BWI, and I see this flight often when I'm there in the early evening. It really resonated with me considering that I had seen this flight many times at BWI.
It was really neat reading a newsgroup article from a startled DCA flier that afternoon, and then hearing it on WJLA that night. Not often i get news from the newsgroup before the TV-news. Anyways, the TV-news was consistent with my thoughts that the DC10 was inbound to BWI, rerouted to IAD, then rerouted to DCA. (I seem to remember a mention of Andrews, and how it wasn't available for some reason or another. Maybe the POTUS was there. )
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 601 times:
I had the destination and alternate reversed. ADW would have still been a better alternate (assuming Bill wan't there), and DCA personnel still could have taken paperwork over. Besides, over at ADW, those pesky newsgoons never would have gotten close enough to take a picture.
Funny thing was that the dispatcher for this flight had used Harrisburg PA (MDT) as the alternate, less than 100 miles to the north of BWI, and I've never heard much of an explanation for why the crew didn't go there...
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 595 times:
Last few times I was at DCA, I came in on Delta and they were sharing the interim terminal (old hanger) with USAirways, and new terminal was getting close to completion. Hope to make it there in April or May on buisness, and can't wait to see it.
D L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 10561 posts, RR: 53 Reply 16, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 591 times:
You must be talking about Gravelly Point! That is the best place I've seen anywhere for spotting aircraft. Its really a shame that only smaller jets fly into National. You can go and stand on the centerline of the glidepath, and the planes look like they are about to land on your head! Usually when I go there, I find many people jogging, playing ultimate, soccer, or even softball. I always think that the planes are so close that a high fly ball could hit one. (I don't think they're really as close as they look though.)
As for the terminal, Its all glass and steel now (very fitting for an area called Crystal City), except for the south terminal which is the original. I've heard people complain about the yellow steel, but I really like it. It complements the blueish glass well.
WentOnA777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (13 years 4 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 589 times:
Yes, I was talking about Gravelly Point. It is so relaxing to sit out there for a few hours and listen to my scanner. The only thing that annoys me is the "airport know-it-alls," you know, the fathers telling their wives/children info about the airport, and it is ALL COMPLETELY WRONG!! Anyway, it is still a great spot!
Bo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (13 years 4 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 583 times:
Another interesting thing about DCA is that the new terminal design is absolutely killing off commercial activity inside the airport. Since its such an easy transition from check-in/security to gate these days, people aren't stopping to buy useless trinkets or pork up on Burger King hamburgers much anymore.
Gravelly point is one of the most easily-accessible airport spotting areas in the country. Its even more fun when they turn the runway around and those 727's come roaring by with their ear-splitting concerto. Its rather "uplifiting".