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Topic: SAN Opposite Direction Operations?
Username: 777ord
Posted 2011-09-19 09:15:41 and read 2504 times.

Hello all.

This past weekend I moved to Bankers Hill in San Diego. For those unfamiliar, Bankers Hill is located (pretty much) right under the final approach path for rwy 27 at SAN. With this move, and today's weather which was low OVC I was listening to liveatc.net and noticed they had aircraft landing and departing 09, and departing 27. I understand that 09 has the ILS, but wouldn't it just make more sense to land/depart 09?

My only conclusion is SAN isn't the busiest airport in SOCAL and can do this type of operation. Or, with this type of operation they can get more aircraft airborne and avoid a ground delay program.

Can anyone explain the reasoning for that operation. I'm really curious.

Thanks all!

Topic: RE: SAN Opposite Direction Operations?
Username: Alias1024
Posted 2011-09-19 09:28:19 and read 2494 times.

This traffic flow usually turns SAN into an aboslute trainwreck of delays. The reason they do it is that the weather is too low for the traffic to get in on the LOC 27 approach, requiring the ILS 09 arrivals, but the terrain off the departure end of 09 causes massive performance penalties for most outbound aircraft, requiring 27 departures.

Topic: RE: SAN Opposite Direction Operations?
Username: IAHFLYR
Posted 2011-09-19 09:30:41 and read 2492 times.

The take-off mins for Runway 9 are higher and requires a climb gradient which may severely impact some operators.

Topic: RE: SAN Opposite Direction Operations?
Username: 777ord
Posted 2011-09-19 11:13:33 and read 2459 times.

Makes perfect sense. Thanks for the clarification!

Topic: RE: SAN Opposite Direction Operations?
Username: runner13
Posted 2011-09-19 23:07:42 and read 2310 times.

I don't know of SAN ops but I can say that opposite direction ops suck for everyone involved. There is a lot of coordination with the tower, and the tracon, building gaps, wake turbulence times, it's just a pain. But operationally it must be done sometime, even if it causes massive delays. You can't change the weather.

Topic: RE: SAN Opposite Direction Operations?
Username: Alias1024
Posted 2011-09-20 11:22:53 and read 2225 times.

Quoting runner13 (Reply 4):
I don't know of SAN ops but I can say that opposite direction ops suck for everyone involved. There is a lot of coordination with the tower, and the tracon, building gaps, wake turbulence times, it's just a pain. But operationally it must be done sometime, even if it causes massive delays. You can't change the weather.

Typically they stack arrivals in a holding pattern while launching several departures in a row. Then they stack up departures on the taxiway and let in several arrivals in a row. Of course flow times can throw a wrench in the works, but that's generally what SAN and SoCal do when the overcast gets low.

Topic: RE: SAN Opposite Direction Operations?
Username: KELPkid
Posted 2011-09-20 14:27:04 and read 2195 times.

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 1):
This traffic flow usually turns SAN into an aboslute trainwreck of delays. The reason they do it is that the weather is too low for the traffic to get in on the LOC 27 approach, requiring the ILS 09 arrivals, but the terrain off the departure end of 09 causes massive performance penalties for most outbound aircraft, requiring 27 departures.

Just pulled up the ILS 09 plate on Airnav. I noticed that there are circling minimums published Do air carriers use circle-to-land on 27?

Topic: RE: SAN Opposite Direction Operations?
Username: 777ord
Posted 2011-09-20 15:26:59 and read 2187 times.

I have never seen it in the last 7 months of being in SAN. But then again, that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. I don't think it'd be a likely option seeing you have Bankers hill and the sky line on rwy 27 side, and North island air station south of the rwy and then La Jolla hills/cliff on the approach end of 09.

Anyone seen it or done it?

Topic: RE: SAN Opposite Direction Operations?
Username: AAR90
Posted 2011-09-20 18:27:48 and read 2154 times.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 6):
Just pulled up the ILS 09 plate on Airnav. I noticed that there are circling minimums published Do air carriers use circle-to-land on 27?

There is no need since the LOC-27 mins are much lower [640/1-3/4 vs 820/2-1/4].

Topic: RE: SAN Opposite Direction Operations?
Username: KELPkid
Posted 2011-09-20 22:29:15 and read 2090 times.

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 8):
There is no need since the LOC-27 mins are much lower [640/1-3/4 vs 820/2-1/4].

Although the ceiling mins are higher for circling on the ILS RWY 09, the forward visibility requirements are lower 1-3/4 vs 2-1/4. Circling to land on the ILS might get you in when the vis drops below 2 miles  

Topic: RE: SAN Opposite Direction Operations?
Username: AAR90
Posted 2011-09-21 15:55:27 and read 2024 times.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 9):
Although the ceiling mins are higher for circling on the ILS RWY 09, the forward visibility requirements are lower 1-3/4 vs 2-1/4. Circling to land on the ILS might get you in when the vis drops below 2 miles

ILS RWY-9 circle to land RWY-27 minimums = 820 / 2-1/4
LOC-27 to land RWY-27 minimums = 640 / 1-3/4

Quoting 777ord (Thread starter):
Can anyone explain the reasoning for that operation.

There are two main reasons for the opposite direction [land RWY-9 / takeoff RWY-27] operation at SAN:
1. low visibility... less than 1 mile.
Only available approach is ILS-09 while RWY-09 takeoff requires 1nm [RWY-27 only requires RVR 5].

2. low visibility w/high weight takeoffs.
Some flights can not depart RWY-09 due to high gross weights. Today's AA2340 (6:20am departure) had runway weight limits of: RWY-09 = 159,400# RWY-27 = 171,200# Our actual weight was 163,000# so if the visibility was less than 1-3/4nm arrivals would be using ILS-09 while we would have had to depart RWY-27. That is the scenario that we encountered a few weeks ago. Most departing flights could use RWY-09, but we required RWY-27.

When multiple departures require RWY-27 and low visibility requires ILS-09, ATC normally runs 4 arrivals then 4 departures, etc., etc. The holding stack is at SARGS and departures are radar vectored to remain well clear of SARGS. While slow, it works well and is quite safe. Usually encountered less than a dozen times a year and seldom for longer than a few hours at a time.


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