PanAmerican
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Why Two Runways Needed At Small Airports?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 10:28 pm

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I am astonished to see that such a small airport like Hurghada needs two runways when even London Gatwick has only one!
Is this just a waste of taxpayers money or is there a reason why a lot of small airports with considerably low traffic have two runways?
Can you think of any other small airports that have two runways?
I would understand this if the runways were not in the same direction so that they could be used with different wind conditions, however building parallel runways seems pretty unnecessary to me.
What do you guys think?

 Smile/happy/getting dizzyPA
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TriStar500
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RE: Why Two Runways Needed At Small Airports?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 10:35 pm

Some reasons I can think of spontaneiously:

possible military use (failsafe in case one runway is damaged in an attack or several fighters have to be scrambled at once)

backup system in case of maintenance work

long-term spare capacity management

high volume of general- or light aviation traffic
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Sammy123
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RE: Why Two Runways Needed At Small Airports?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 10:39 pm

I Believe Las Vegas has 4 runways
 
PanAmerican
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RE: Why Two Runways Needed At Small Airports?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 10:55 pm

Good reasoning, TriStar500. Unlike us they seem to have the space for that anyway, not the money though.

Sammy123: Las Vegas is a very big airport with lots of traffic that really needs those four runways so I don't see anything wrong with it. I mean Dallas, Denver or O'Hare have even more runways, but they really use them.
But I'm talking about the really small airports with low traffic...
For me there is no point in building two parallel runways with one or two planes coming in every hour  Smile

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Sabenaboy
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RE: Why Two Runways Needed At Small Airports?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 11:05 pm

Whenever traffic at an airport is busy enough to justify the construction of a parallel runway, then it also makes sense to build this "taxiway" wide and strong enough so that it can be used as a backup rwy in case the main runway has to be closed for some reason.
Hurghada rwy 34R is not normally used for takeoff and landing, but only for taxi. On the airport chart it is known as twy N. And a note on the chart says that it will be in use as rwy 34R when the main rwy is closed.
BTW: HRG can be very busy during the tourist season. If there are strong winds there, they always come from the north sector. No need for a crossing rwy in HRG for wind reasons!
The rwy is 3700 m long (Very useful in hot desert weather at maximum TOW!)And Hurghada is an emergency diversion airport for the space shuttle!
Not really what I would call a "small" airport.
Sabenaboy.
 
PanAmerican
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RE: Why Two Runways Needed At Small Airports?

Thu Nov 06, 2003 11:17 pm

Ok, that explains a lot. Thanx for that, Sabenaboy.
I just assumed it had low traffic numbers as I didn't know where to look up numbers for it.

 Smile/happy/getting dizzyPA
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Why Two Runways Needed At Small Airports?

Fri Nov 07, 2003 3:09 am

I Believe Las Vegas has 4 runways

Las Vegas is also the world's 12th busiest airport.... what's your point?
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Tom in NO
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Why Two Runways Needed At Small Airports?

Fri Nov 07, 2003 3:45 am

Obviously traffic and demand is a major issue.

Another primary issue would be weather, and specifically, wind. When an airport is built and funded, at least in the US, wind studies are made to determine which direction an airports' runways would need to be built (orientation). As I recall, a 95% 'wind coverage' (winds above a certain speed) is needed for an airport runway system.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
planesarecool
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:37 am

RE: Why Two Runways Needed At Small Airports?

Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:19 am

I believe Las Palmas has 2 parallel runways. However they do get quite a bit of traffic from Binter Canarias and Islas Airways, plus all the charters from Britain and Germany on selected days (British day is monday), so in a way it does need the second runway but not all the time.

-Stephen
 
redngold
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RE: Why Two Runways Needed At Small Airports?

Fri Nov 07, 2003 6:11 am

Of course, having two runways that are NOT parallel is good if you have shifting winds. Here at KCLE we have our parallels on 6/24 heading, and the crosswind is 10/28 (used rarely; mostly in the winter during lake effect snow, during the occasional severe thunderstorm front coming off the lake in the summer, or when one of the parallels is closed for maintenance.)

We used to have a 18/26 runway but that was closed some time ago and has now been converted to deicing pads.


redngold
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flyingbronco05
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RE: Why Two Runways Needed At Small Airports?

Fri Nov 07, 2003 7:03 am

At SNA, they have two runways to separate smaller, slower traffic from bigger, faster traffic.


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