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Aircraft Turnaround Times/LGW US Carriers  
User currently offlineJosephJarvis From UK - England, joined Apr 2011, 166 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 3 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4196 times:

Hi everyone,

I am wondering what are the minimum turnaround times for the following aircraft:

- 747-400
- 767-200
- 777-200
- A330-300
- DC-10 ?

Also, I know this subject has been discussed in a couple of threads I have posted before but this is a question that hasn't been answered. At LGW in the early 2000s, many American flights arrived early morning. What I'm trying to understand is if several aircraft are sitting on the ground for between 3:30hrs - 5hrs at LGW everyday, would there be a limit of how long an aircraft can occupy a gate, say like 4 hours? US Airways, Continental, American and Northwest sat their planes at LGW in the early 2000s for several hours everyday. That means American carriers occupying alot of gates at Gatwick's South Terminal for most of the morning and early afternoon if they weren't towed. Wouldn't other aircraft need to use these gates such as the wide range of charter airlines using Gatwick, as well as other scheduled flights? I mean the South Terminal at LGW doesn't have that many gates. The satellite terminal part only has 8 gates. Were alot of American carriers aircraft towed to remote stands, as many which stayed for over 4 hours, surely can't occupy gates for that long. E.g. 2 US Airways 767s or even 2 American 777s can't spend over 5 hours at Gatwick at a gate everyday, so many aircraft if not all must be towed for a few hours or longer if they spend that long on the ground. The bulk of American, Northwest, Continental and US Airways flights spent at least 3 hrs at LGW everyday. 767s aren't big aircraft that justify long ground time!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and best regards to all.

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2950 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4186 times:

Not sure how things work at LGW, but I know that at many airports throughout the world and aircraft that will have a longer layover will typically be pushed out to a hardstand after the pax are off, and will be towed back to the gate hours later when its time to board folks for the return flight. Unless an airline owns a particular gate and no other flights cycle through, I can't imagine the plane staying at the gate for hours on end with no activity.

"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlineJosephJarvis From UK - England, joined Apr 2011, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4161 times:

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 1):

Thanks for your reply.

I totally agree with you. I can't imagine a US Airline having designated gates at a UK Airport, it's not a hub or anything?

User currently offlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2950 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4087 times:

Quoting JosephJarvis (Thread starter):
767s aren't big aircraft that justify long ground time!

Oh, forgot to mention, just because a plane may not have a large turn-around time doesn't mean they are going to clean it up and load it up quickly and they will sit on the ground waiting for their return flight at a much later time. Once you start looking at some of these longer flights which are international, you have to take a few things into consideration. You have the "windows of opportunity" based on the length of the flights, origin/destination, and times of the day and time zones. Passengers have certain times of the day that they prefer to depart and arrive based on what they are trying to do. An aircraft may operate a "red-eye" flight into LGW where it took off from the US in the early evening and arrived in the early morning where the pax need to be somewhere in London in the morning (maybe for a meeting or something) or make a connecting flight on the morning flight bank. But, by the time the aircraft would get cleaned and whatnot, the plane would be ready for departure in the late morning back to the US with an arrival in late morning/early afternoon where there might not be a lot of connecting flights, hotels don't have their rooms ready yet, business meetings are already underway and whatnot. Not necessarily good timing so it will probably not be a popular flight, low load factor, low revenue. Leave it on the ground for a few hours until another good "window of opportunity" pops up and the plane will make more money for the airline. Mix that with scheduling the crew layovers and whatnot, sometimes it just works best to leave it on the ground for a longer time than turning it back. If I recall correctly, one flight somewhere in the world stays on the ground for like 20 hours.

"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlineJosephJarvis From UK - England, joined Apr 2011, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4018 times:

Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 3):

I see, I'd like to take some examples if I may:

In 2002:

US740 Arrive 0555 US741 Depart 1115 - A333 (same aircraft used) ground time: 5 hours 20 minutes.
US98 Arrive 0555 US99 Depart 1215 - A333 (same aircraft used) ground time: 7 hours 20 minutes.
AA174 Arrive 0655 AA174 Depart 1200 - 777 (same aircraft used) ground time: 5 hours, 05 minutes.
AA50 Arrive 0850 AA79 Depart 1340 - 777 (same aircraft used) ground time: 4 hours 50 minutes.
CO28 Arrive 0745 (op. different CO flight) - CO5 Depart 1200 777 (same aircraft as CO28) ground time: 4 hrs15 minutes.
CO34 Arrive 0655 (op. different CO flight) - CO29 Depart 1100 777 (same aircraft as CO34) ground time: 4 hrs, 05 mins.

I can't imagine all these flights were towed to remote stands but that's ages to spend at the gate for these flights?

User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3627 times:

No it is not. If they are blocking the gate in quiet portion of the day, you might as well leave them at the gate. Lets say they arrive before the main morning departure bank, but close enough that when you count deplanning, cleaning, securing etc. there is no other use for the gate by the time you are finished. On the other side, they depart after the morning bank returns, but they need to be on the gate soon enough that you could not use the gate for late-morning arrivals anyway.

So you could use the gate mid-morning (after early morning departures, but before late morning arrivals), but mid morning is a really quiet time and there is plenty available gates. Might as well leave the plane at gate and save the towing.

The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
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