Topic Author
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Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 2:54 am

Hi guys,
I'd just like to know, how are airport gates allocated? For example, is a specific gate used for a certain flight or are aircraft randomly placed in different gates?

Thanks in advance!

Topic Author
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 4:10 pm

No replies? Pls guys, juz help me out on this one. I'd really like to know.

RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 4:52 pm

In HP's hubs its more or less random where the flights go each day. A flight might be at A28 one day but at A14 the next. In a field station where we may only have 1 or 2 gates the flights pretty much use the same gate day after day.
Topic Author
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 5:25 pm

Thanks for replying. I used to think that certain flights only went to certain gates. Big grin
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 6:07 pm

Just a guess here, but I am guessing it also depends on how much waiting area a particular gate has. One gate might be on a corner so it has a larger waiting area for passengers, so they might put larger planes in those gates.
Contact Air
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 6:45 pm

I think this also depends on the airport: on large airports (like LHR or FRA), where gates are rare, the gates are fixed only shortly before arrival of the plane. If a flight is delayed, the plane might be allocated to an other gate than originally planned. That's why when you book a connecting flight via FRA (for example), the gate for the flight from FRA is usually not yet fixed when checking in at your origin airport.
At smaller airports (like STR, Stuttgart for example), the gates are often fixed in advance.
Anyway, at both large and small airports, airlines with many flights may have their "own" gates. For example Lufthansa in Germany: In FRA and in STR, there are gates that are used only by LH and their partners. Like that, the airlines can place items like newspapers or coffee machines in their gate area.
Nevertheless, it can happen that i.e. the flight to CDG leaves today from a gate where tomorrow at the same time leaves the flight to BRU.
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 7:25 pm

Thanks a lot for the reply, Contact Air!
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 8:01 pm

At SFO all the A concourse gates of the new International Terminal are all fixed. BA has to use two specific gates because they are the only ones that give the opportunity to board from the terrace lounge. AZ used to use A10, they only used A2 once when A10 was broken.

Michael SFO
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 8:23 pm

In SIN, UA always used D12.
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 8:35 pm

In the two Milan airports LIN and MXP they use to do as follow:

LIN: Every flights use everyday the same gate. There are only 5 fingers, so 90% of the flights use bus gates.

Domestic and European schenghen concurse at terminal 1:
Every airlines use to have an own numbers of gates, so they could use them as they want.
Of course some airlines that have only 1 or 2 gates use always the same gate everyday; AZ is the larger operator there and it has many gates, so everyday use to change gates for every flights.
International area at terminal 1:
Every day different gates for every flights.
US carriers can use only 2 finger on each day.
Terminal 2:
Gates use to be allocate few time before boarding time.
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 10:39 pm

at RUH I have noticed that some gates are usually seen with larger aircraft while others with smaller ones..

example at T1 (non-SV airliners).. gate 13, 16 is usually seen with 747, A340, 777 while 18 and 11 are for 737.

I guess so many factors contribute in gate allocation. In RUH which is not so crowded and busy like other world airports I would think that the above gates would be allocated as it is further away from the terminal periphral extensions making the larger aircraft easier to move.
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 11:09 pm

Depends on what airport your at and how busy it is. Ive known the gate change for one of my flights from NCL change 3 times before boarding!
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 11:45 pm


Didn't you get the hint? They didn't want you on board  Wink/being sarcastic

David/MAN: 236 and counting
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sat Dec 01, 2001 11:50 pm

David, LOL  Laugh out loud
Funnily enough they did the same at MAN one-time. But this time it was from one end-of T2 to the other end.
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sun Dec 02, 2001 1:17 am

I know that Gate1, 2, 3, 4 are gates for Cathay Pacific here in Hong Kong, especially one, everytime go to airport for spotting or travelling, back or other reasons there's gotta be a CX!Travelled to Sydney in September and got gate 1 with a B744.Also got gate 4 when i got back!Both were CX flights.
Also Singapore Airlines uses gate 24 usually, or 25 and 26.Of course most flights are to Singapore, and also to SFO and Taipei!

Best Regards
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sun Dec 02, 2001 1:33 am

At ORD they have their own gates for airlines like United and American and the other ones might have one or more.

At MDW it's like O'Hare but they are getting a renovation job and they are building a new terminal and new gates and it's half finished and they are using the new and old gates cause of the construction. I remember when I was going to my National flight and they told me one gate and when I was waiting in line we were told to go to another gate. All the other airlines have their own gate but National shares with America West.
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sun Dec 02, 2001 3:18 am

Gate allocation is quite a science at major hub airports.

Several airlines use computer systems that allocate gates to arriving aircraft based on several different criteria.

Connecting passenger flows, aircraft rotation schedules, cargo, mail loads are just a few of the items that are considered.

The idea behind these systems is to find the optimal balance of convience and efficiency for both the passenger and various departments within the airline like maintenace, ramp, and customer service.

From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sun Dec 02, 2001 3:22 am

If I remember correctly, El Al sometimes changes gates at the last minute for security reasons.

Also, at PHL, US Airways flights with larger aircraft are at the gates at the end of each terminal because they are too big to go anwhere else.

Thus, transcontinental and many Florida flights are at at the ends of the B and C concourses.

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RE: Gates Allocation

Sun Dec 02, 2001 10:20 am

Thanks for all the replies guys, u make a GREAT forum! Big grin
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sun Dec 02, 2001 10:27 am

I remember a Lufthansa pilot once told me that at FRA, airbridge gates are allocated to LH flights with the most connecting PAX. So London flights plus US flights get gates at the terminal first.
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sun Dec 02, 2001 3:24 pm

Think about this. If you had to assign gates for an airline that basicly has the same sked every day, wouldn't you try to stick to the same plan every day. Barring irregular operations I think most hubs operate with the same gate assignments everyday. This way everyone knows in advance which cargo goes where, what catering needs to be done, what maintenance needs are, ect.

Airlines don't reinvent themselves everyday. Hopefully it's nice boring clockwork everyday.
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sun Dec 02, 2001 3:33 pm

I don't know if UAL still does this but back in 97 when I flew them a lot in the summer I remember they had this thing called the B/C system for gates at O'hare. If you the a/c was either bound for, or arriving from Boston, ATL, LGA, EWR, PHL, DCA or MSP it was called a B flight and assigned a B gate at the B concourse. All other destinations were C flights and went from the C concourse. The thinking was the high paying business travelers were usually on the B flights, so why not allocate the closer in gates for those types of pax. In the evening and early morning times flights bound for SFO and LAX also became B flights and launched from the B concourse. Of course you would see flights going to or arriving from OMA, DEN, IAH, DFW, STL to name a few on the B concourse, but 90% of the time that exact a/c was either continuing on to one of the cities named above or coming in from one of those cities and going to a "C" city. Like I said before, I don't know if UAL still sticks to this schedule or not, and of course when the bad t-storms would hit then and they needed every gate they could get, it didn't matter where flights were coming or going they went to the next availble gate whether it was on B, C or E!
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RE: Gates Allocation

Sun Dec 02, 2001 8:17 pm

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Smile/happy/getting dizzy Thanks for all the interesting replies!!!
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RE: Gates Allocation

Mon Dec 03, 2001 3:07 am

I flew to LAX from C18
to SLC from B3 and B5
to ANC from C26...

so its not all true.

but i remember i flew SJC-ORD and i came into F2... and i had tracked the flight before and it came into F2 all the time, unless it was delayed. So i think they have an overall plan of where flights go, but if some are delayed they shuffle them around.

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RE: Gates Allocation

Mon Dec 03, 2001 3:18 am

The system that Deltaflyertoo refers to lasted for a couple years, but was discountinued sometime in the last three years. Flights to those destinations he mentioned (and a few others) were called BusinessOne service, and they used dedicated, close-in gates at O'Hare Terminal One's Concourse B (which doesn't require the journey through the underground tunnel to get to baggage claim and ground transportation). But the system got too complex and aircraft/route/gate assignments became too difficult, so they no longer dedicate those flights to the B gates.

Delta does a similar thing with the T-Gates at ATL (they don't require a trip through the underground mall). Delta used to tag their hourly service to DCA, BWI, PHL, LGA, EWR, BOS (Etc) CityPass, and try to get those flights out of the T-Gates. While it isn't guaranteed, most flights to those destinations still leave from the T-Gates or gates in the A concouse close to the centerpoint (where the train/underground mall is). (As of last month, however, all DCA departures were going out of a dedicated gate in the E concourse to comply with additional security requirements).
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RE: Gates Allocation

Mon Dec 03, 2001 8:05 am

Personally, I have no idea why most airlines change gate assignments everyday. It probably has a lot of factors involved.

What I have seen American do with it's 3 terminals at DFW is allocate certain destinations to different terminals. For example, I noticed that terminal B get Chicago, Los Angeles, and a few other cities. Terminal C gets the bulk of the domestic flights(i couldn't name all of the cities) while terminal A gets the international flights along with a few other domestic cities.

I have seen American do this at Concourse K at ORD using it for most flights involving widebodies and international departures(intl arrivals at ORD all use designated terminal)

Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
Tom in NO
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RE: Gates Allocation

Mon Dec 03, 2001 11:14 am

People might be interested in how the various airport authorities issue gates to airlines. There are a couple of ways:

1) airlines will sign a lease to operate certain gates for a specific length of time. Lease used to be 30 years, morerecntly, shorter leases have been signed.

2) preferential use gates. Airlines will be assigned gates (owned and operated by the airport operator) to use at a specific time. This is basically a "use-it-or-lose-it" procedure. LAX's international terminal is an example of this. A related practice is called "CUTE", or common use terminal equipment, and involves airlines using the same computers, equipment, etc, but accessing their own software through those computers.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
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