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Casablanca: Confusing Runways?  
User currently offlineTS-IOR From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3466 posts, RR: 6
Posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3087 times:

A daily Moroccan newspaper is accusing the design of CMN/GMMN with its concept of parallel runways and taxiway to be at the origin of at least 5 incidents including one serious involving an Air France Airbus in 2011.

Airports and civil aviation authorities in Morocco are considering plans to minimise risks at Casablanca. In fact runways 35L and 35R seem to be confusing to pilots, and on August 8, 2011, an A319 of Air France landed visually on the Right when it was cleared to land on the Left... being used for departures ! Before that, in 2003 a RAM arrival also landed on the wrong assigned runway, in 2009 a Jetairfly was about to do so, and in 2010 a Turkish and RAM did it as well !

Special marking was added to differentiate both runways, and visual procedures were banned. No incident reported since then but civil aviation authorities are still waiting for more from ONDA which is the board in charge of managing airports in Morocco.

Any pilot here could explain a little more about that misleading runways in Casablanca ?!

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17027 posts, RR: 67
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 3053 times:

Tons of airports have parallel runways and taxiways. You don't see this kind of problem at LAX which has four runways, both pairs are which are in close proximity to each other. I have a hard time seeing how the layout in itself is the problem.

I think this sounds like a storm in a teacup. Banning visual procedures? Isn't that overkill? They changed the markings and there haven't been any incidents since then. Ok then...

Here's a satellite view: http://flightaware.com/resources/airport/GMMN/map/satellite.

Here are some diagrams: http://va-transaero.ru/files/charts/GMMN.pdf

[Edited 2013-04-15 06:52:17]


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineBoeing77W From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2871 times:

Parallel runways with a parallel taxiway, nothing new! As Starlionblue says tonnes of airports have similar/far more complicated layouts. For example look at the following, to name but a few;

Frankfurt

Atlanta

Dallas Fort Worth


The incidents described above do happen elsewhere
Thomson B738, 21 Sept 2011, landed on taxiway

This one actually happend at ATL Plane Lands on Atlanta Taxiway

A ban on visual approaches sounds a little extreme to me!


User currently offlineTS-IOR From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3466 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2753 times:

Of course parallel runways exist elsewhere and in a more complicated layout, and do not forget that it is the newspaper (not even an aviation magazine or an article written by an aviation specialist) which is backing the fault to the airport layout. Such incidents happen, but they are not welcome ! But the decision to ban visual is senseless...

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17027 posts, RR: 67
Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2725 times:

Quoting TS-IOR (Reply 3):
But the decision to ban visual is senseless...

It also only works at an airport that isn't close to saturation. No way could you do that at LHR and keep up the traffic numbers.

Quoting TS-IOR (Reply 3):
do not forget that it is the newspaper (not even an aviation magazine or an article written by an aviation specialist) which is backing the fault to the airport layout.

Well, they have to have something to rant about. 



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4929 posts, RR: 43
Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2717 times:

Looks no different than Seattle or Las Vegas.


Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineTS-IOR From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3466 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2702 times:

But in the US, at congested airspaces, and in airports with triple parallel runways... they continue to use visual procedures regularly unlike in CDG or LHR for example. It's a relief for both ATC and pilots  

User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2659 times:

Quoting TS-IOR (Thread starter):
Special marking was added to differentiate both runways, and visual procedures were banned. No incident reported since then but civil aviation authorities are still waiting for more from ONDA which is the board in charge of managing airports in Morocco.

I really don't understand what could be the problem with the airport design / layout.

There is about 340M separation between the two runways. That is almost identical to the separation at CDG. The layout of CMN is almost identical to the layout of either side of CDG.

The runway pairs at LAX are separated by 170M on the north and 190M on the south side.

I suspect the real issue is the controllers in Morocco usage of English, and the pilots having difficulty in understanding how the controllers identify the runways.


User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1332 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2647 times:

I've been into CMN more than a few times, and visual conditions are very often challenging, though technically good enough for a visual approach. Keep in mind it's often hazy and dusty in this area of the world, with a lot of humidity driving in from the Atlantic meeting the dust from the desert. The colours of the landscape blends perfectly with the runways, and there's nothing in the way of visual clues to tell you if you're approaching the left or right one (e.g. being left or right of the tower, a terminal or hangar).

With all that in mind I can see the case for placing a "no-visual" restriction on the approaches. Of course there's no "excuse" for a poorly executed visual approach, but frankly it's easier to shoot a Canarsie to JFK than a circling to CMN. So perhaps the armchair experts, armed with nothing but a Google Map and a Canon, should consider the validity of their inputs.



From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17027 posts, RR: 67
Reply 9, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2631 times:

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 8):

I've been into CMN more than a few times, and visual conditions are very often challenging, though technically good enough for a visual approach. Keep in mind it's often hazy and dusty in this area of the world, with a lot of humidity driving in from the Atlantic meeting the dust from the desert. The colours of the landscape blends perfectly with the runways, and there's nothing in the way of visual clues to tell you if you're approaching the left or right one (e.g. being left or right of the tower, a terminal or hangar).

With all that in mind I can see the case for placing a "no-visual" restriction on the approaches. Of course there's no "excuse" for a poorly executed visual approach, but frankly it's easier to shoot a Canarsie to JFK than a circling to CMN. So perhaps the armchair experts, armed with nothing but a Google Map and a Canon, should consider the validity of their inputs.

Good input. And I guess that is what was missing from the thread, someone who has actually flown to the airport. As you say we armchair experts are sitting in armchairs and don't often have all the info.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9937 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2615 times:
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Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 7):

The runway pairs at LAX are separated by 170M on the north and 190M on the south side.

Isn't separation typically measured between runway centerlines? In which case it would be 700 feet on the north and 800 feet on the south.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 9):
As you say we armchair experts are sitting in armchairs

That brought a sorely-needed smile to my face today. Thanks.  



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineTS-IOR From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3466 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2366 times:

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 8):

Excellent reply. That's what i was looking for, and knowing that kind of hazy and dusty weather (much less in Tunisia, but could be compared to the one in DXB for example) i was betting on such a reason to ban visuals.


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