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Air Force Bases At Civil Airports

Sat Feb 22, 2003 9:08 pm

I have some questions regarding civil airports with a military base, FRA being probably the biggest example.

Do the Air Forces have to pay the same landing fees as airlines? Do they get special prices, or can they even use the airport infrastructure for free ? (Especially interesting when the Air Force is foreign in the country, like the USAF at FRA)

How is it with slot-restricted airports? Have military flights priority ? Do they have to look for a free slot ?

Are the military planes handled by the same ground controllers as the civil aircraft?

Are they allowed to haul all possible cargo there? Flying around with tons of high-explosive weapon at an airport with over 200.000 people seems to be quite dangerous...

Thanks for your answers
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RE: Air Force Bases At Civil Airports

Sun Feb 23, 2003 12:02 am

Just my own guess here, I'd imagine that there's probably an agreement with the United States and Germany regarding use of Frankfurt that would cover all these details like landing fees, scheduling.

Depends on the airport but probably the same controllers will control military aircraft. It doesn't make sense to have two sets of controllers working at the same airport controlling only civilian and only military.

As far as explosives go, most of the ordnance like stuff in GP bombs is a very stable and is actually hard to detonate. C4 explosives for example, you get set it on fire it will not detonate, however if it's on fire and you stomp on it to try to put it out, it will go boom  Sad if it's not on fire you can use a ball of C4 as a baseball to play baseball with it. it won't detonate, but if it is on fire when you use it as a baseball, there won't be much left of the bat or the batter, or homeplate.

But even then each type of explosive has an ESQD explosive safety quantity distance, which delineates the closest anything or anyone not involved with the evolution can be when handling ordnance. Like for a simple G881 fragmentation hand grenade if I walk down the street with one, it has an explosive weight of say 8 ounces. I have to clear a distance of 1250ft arround me in all directions along the route of travel. in order to transport that grenade according to the regs, of course that's very simplified, I have to make sure its packaged properly, palletized and banded according to the unitizing documents. Have a emergency response team capable of responding within a certain time limit, etc.

Ammunition weighs a lot and I don't expect a lot of it travels by air when we're getting it from on theater to another theather, a surface method is used, it's more efficient. However once it's in a theater of operation, then we use whatever method is necessary to get the ammunition to where it is going including tactical airlift, although principally it will be surface means ususally as well.
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RE: Air Force Bases At Civil Airports

Sun Feb 23, 2003 12:45 am

Charleston AFB SC/Charleston IAP: The Air Force owns the property and maintains the runways. The FAA provides the controllers (No USAF controllers at Charleston).
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RE: Air Force Bases At Civil Airports

Sun Feb 23, 2003 2:42 am

Only small arms travels by air no real threat, the thousands of pounds of jet fuel in the wings is the biggest threat in a crash. A fully loaded C-17 is no more dangerous than a LH A-340, they will both explode into flames if they crash.

The US has been operating Military aircraft into and out of dozens of airbases across Germany for 60 years. There have been no issues with these flights.

High explosives like bombs, missles etc are carried by Military Sealift Command ships. Close to my home is Naval Weapons Station Earle NJ, it's homeport for fast combat support ships which support Naval operations throughout the World.
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RE: Air Force Bases At Civil Airports

Sun Feb 23, 2003 4:09 am

How is it with slot-restricted airports? Have military flights priority ? Do they have to look for a free slot ?

At AMS (thus not even an airport with an airbase) all flights of military aircraft or flying for an Air Force don't count in the calculation of the number of slots and are allowed to land if they want. Priority is only given when the situation makes it necessary to grant priority.

BTW isn't one of FRA's runways part of the airbase and may civil airlines use the runways when the USAF doesn't need them?
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RE: Air Force Bases At Civil Airports

Sun Feb 23, 2003 8:33 am

A number of airports in the U.S. share facilities between civilian and military. For example, Wichita Falls Municipal shares a runway with Sheppard AFB (SPS). Military aircraft have priority over civilian aircraft. There is a hierarchy, which I'm not completely familiar with, but possibly an Air Traffic Controller could share it with us.

Generally, it's first come, first served. But in the event priority is needed, I think it goes something like this:

First priority - Air Force One (of course) or aircraft under distress
Second priority - Highly sensitive military operations
Third priority - regular military operations
Fourth priority - IFR Part 121 Air Carriers
Fifth priority - Other IFR Operators
Sixth priority - VFR Aircraft

[Edited 2003-02-23 00:35:28]

[Edited 2003-02-23 00:36:11]

[Edited 2003-02-23 00:37:09]
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