Posts: 3863
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2000 10:46 am

Earthquakes & Airlines

Wed Apr 30, 2003 11:00 am

If you haven't heard, Atlanta expirenced a rare wake up call this morning in the form of a 4.9 earthquake.

SO, my question is how do airports and airlines deal with:
1) minor earthquakes
2) "average earthquakes"
3) severe earthquakes

for 1 & 2, assume that there is no damage to the airport

Douglas DC-9
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2001 2:39 am

RE: Earthquakes & Airlines

Wed Apr 30, 2003 2:42 pm

I think that each quake is different, and airports deal with them as they need to. I mean the parked planes sure as hell aren't going anywhere, and aircraft on takeoff will not have to stop because they will be off the ground soon enough, and aircraft landing should be alright. If I owned an airport and there was an earthquake going on after the quake I would just check for terminal, and hanger damage. I would keep operations as is.

Douglas DC-9-81
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2002 11:29 pm

RE: Earthquakes & Airlines

Wed Apr 30, 2003 3:39 pm

My main priority would be making sure that everyone is ok. Planes can be replaced, people cant. As for Aircraft taking off i would tell everyone that is taxing and pilots that are on takeoff roll before V1 to stop immediatly. As i dont think that aircraft makers account for acts of god whilst designing aircraft (apart form lightning and weather, you know what i mean)  Big grin
Planes that are landing or are on approach i would ask to divert to another airport as the quake might have damaged the runway. But im no Airport boss they probabally have contingency plans for that type of occurance.
Posts: 4465
Joined: Fri May 18, 2001 4:12 am

RE: Earthquakes & Airlines

Thu May 01, 2003 12:06 am

Youi can find out a little about the Bay Area's procedures at the links on these pages. Not complete, but a starting point.

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
Posts: 6166
Joined: Wed May 26, 1999 5:41 am

RE: Earthquakes & Airlines

Thu May 01, 2003 12:21 am

I was flying form MIA to SAL Jan 2001. We were about 1 hour from landing in SAL, when the pilot informed us that a major earthquake had hit the country and that we had been instructed to return to Miami. The airport had been closed and the control tower had been evacuated. We made a 180 turn and headed back to MIA. It was very unnerving to see people getting worried and crying all the way back.

The airport was re opened maybe a day later, luckily only cosmetical damage occured and international aid had a way of arriving. Exactly 1 month later another eartquake hit the country again.
Step into my office, baby
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 10:50 am

RE: Earthquakes & Airlines

Thu May 01, 2003 1:18 am

In addition the tower is usually evacuated and an inspector usually takes a look at it. Tower handles the immediate traffic (on final, or departing). I think everybody on approach receives holding instructions or is diverted until the tower has been considered safe. These procedures are really for major earthquakes.
Posts: 3863
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2000 10:46 am

RE: Earthquakes & Airlines

Thu May 01, 2003 11:33 am

anyone knows what happened in ATL airport (if they felt anything)

its wierd, one person felt it while another felt nothing!
Posts: 495
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2000 1:10 pm

RE: Earthquakes & Airlines

Thu May 01, 2003 1:26 pm

I was on board a 757 at a gate during the quake. Didn't feel a thing.
Posts: 2920
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2000 10:57 am

RE: Earthquakes & Airlines

Thu May 01, 2003 3:19 pm

It happened at 4:57am Eastern time. Most people were asleep, like myself, but woke up not knowing what woke them up.
Posts: 2545
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

RE: Earthquakes & Airlines

Thu May 01, 2003 3:53 pm

I was working in the hangar when it happened. No one felt it in our building. We found out when the dayshift guys told us about it.

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