ANCFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Fri Nov 26, 2004 9:37 pm

I've looked through past threads on the A380 and didn't find info.

What kinds of problems (if any) will A380 operators run in to should they have a need to divert to an airport that is certainly not A380 compatible in the USA? Runway strength, width, taxiway issues, etc. What are the contingencies for this sort of thing? Certainly most major airports could likely handle getting the aircraft to the ground, but what then? Could it taxi? Where to park it at say CLT? RDU? JAX? PDX? ANC?

Just throwing this out for discussion. If I indeed missed it in a previous thread, please - as usual, feel free to flame away. . . .
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
nudelhirsch
Posts: 1371
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 6:20 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Fri Nov 26, 2004 10:02 pm

That's the cool thing about the 380. Technically (airportwise) it can be dealt with like a 747. Runways, sizes, that is all no problem.

What is a problem for the 380 is the regular ground handling, baggage, boarding... which needs larger capacities than other AC.

But in case of a diversion, you can even have the AC wait on the tarmac for a while, pax aboard, or deboard the plane through stairs.

Weight and size of the 380 are designed in a way that is very close to the 747. No huge Prob.

Also, very often (LAX and SFO, JFK and IAD...) the 380 "certified" apts are within a close range.
Putana da Seatbeltz!
 
GLAGAZ
Posts: 1844
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 5:42 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Fri Nov 26, 2004 10:09 pm

Although not in the USA, GLA can apparently cope with the A380 but it would obviously have to be parked at a remote site on airfield has no stands are capable of handling the beast.

Apparently GLA will be the airport set aside for diversions if an A380 cannot land in London. I'm am not 100% sure about this but I was told by one of the management at GLA.
Neutrality means that u don't really care cos the struggle goes on even when ur not there, blind and unaware
 
gkirk
Posts: 23349
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2000 3:29 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Fri Nov 26, 2004 10:15 pm

Prestwick at the minute is the only Scottish airport capable of handling the A380
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
kellmark
Posts: 547
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:05 pm

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Fri Nov 26, 2004 10:46 pm

LAX and SFO are not "close". It is not like LAX and ONT or SFO and OAK.

Also, JFK and IAD are not that close either, especially compared to JFK and EWR. This is going to cause a lot of airlines to have to carry a lot of extra fuel.

Also, it is not just the gates, ramps. Taxiways are also having to be modified for the turning radius, etc.

It might be possible to use "paper" alternates, but these would not be places you would actually want to put the aircraft.
 
rdu777
Posts: 215
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:49 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Sat Nov 27, 2004 1:29 am

As far as RDU goes, it can take diversions of the A380 and the taxiways should have no problems with handling the giant. If one does come in to RDU, which is a possibility with the Fedex hub in GSO, it will park by the Northern cargo area, but will be on the cargo taxiway in front of the area. This is also where they park C-5s when they come in, so that is where I would think it would go at RDU. Can't wait to see one.
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Sat Nov 27, 2004 7:09 pm

Not just the turning radius, but taxiways must be widened so that the outboard engines don't kick up and ingest debris.
 
ua777222
Posts: 2987
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:23 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Sat Nov 27, 2004 7:27 pm

For SFO I think that surrounding airports will be able to divert all surrounding airports except HAF b/c it's runway is only 5,000 some feet if that at all and isn't as wide as SFO's 28/10 runways. HUQ might work with it's runways being around 9,000 ft yet 200ft wide. OAK would be the best bet b/c it does handle 747's (well did until UA left) and it's closest to SFO being 10,000ft. at the most. I think the hardest thing that all A380 operators will have to deal with is FOD in the outermost engines. Then again I think an operator can spare a few engines for a couple hundred lives. It's when it's not life-threatening that diverting be comes an issue.

Can someone tell me if Airbus will try to land at surrounding airports when route proofing for an airline? I know the A340-600 came into town of LH did they go to other airports to ensure that if the a/c did have trouble that it would make it to another airport. Could an a/c out of SFO make it all the way up to SUU? The runway is about 11,000ft and 300ft. wide! But Airforce vs. Civilian can play a role but then again lives are lives and whatever it takes I think people will work.

Thanks again for the help with the route proofing question!

Take Care,

UA777222
"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8103
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:30 pm

Interesting thought. In the UK I have no doubt that Manchester could accept a diverted A380, and isn't far from London (Scotland is a long haul for a diversion! Paris or Amsterdam would be about 100mi closer). I'm not sure that FOD would be a big problem, surely the outer engines on 747s hang over the grass during taxi at some airports. Think of the little airfields that accept a couple of 747s a week - Paramaribo! How about all those destinations in the Caribbean and Africa served by KLM, British Airways and Air France 747s? I struggle to believe those fields all have taxiways as wide as a 747's wingspan. In fact, I stuggle to believe that most of those fields have taxiways much wider than the 747's main gear wheel base.

The whole point of the A380 is that it will fit into a 747 sized box (the numbers 210m x 210m spring to mind) and it's weight will be distributed so that it's impact on taxiways and runways is less (indeed, the 747's weight was less - PER WHEEL - than the 707 before it). While terminal and airfield modifications are needed to ensure the fastest possible turnaround, anywhere that can take a 747 today can take an A380 tomorrow. So we'll see A380s at cities like Budapest, Gander, Helsinki, Oakland, Anchorage, Fort Lauderdale, the usual places where 747s occasionally appear to fuel up, drop off a cardiac case, or wait for the snow / fog / thunderstorms to clear in London / San Francisco / Miami.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8103
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:39 pm

Here's a great shot from Udo's excellent thread about PTV. The aircraft in the shot below is an A340, and the airport is Capetown. The outer engines are clearly beyond the width of the taxiway. A380s will make scheduled stops (not to mention unscheduled) at smaller airfields than CPT; I don't think FOD will be a problem for the A380, because it isn't one now for the 747 or A340.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sven De Bevere

fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
ANCFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:48 pm

I started the thread to provoke discussion about what contingency plans airlines might develop regarding diversion airports. Several weeks ago a CO 777 put in to ACD (Cold Bay, Alaska) because of an engine problem. Another CO 777 was ferried out from EWR to grab the stranded pax . . . a while back DL had to do the same thing. A few years back one of the Chinese carriers put a 747 into ASY (Shemya, Alaska) after having struck CAT, killing one passenger and injuring many others. What's going to happen when you've got weather like this past Thursday from STL to the east coast? I was simply under the impression that, unlike a 75 or a 76 or 74, you simply couldn't say "well, IAD is closed, lets pop on over to RIC or ORF", etc. Or "ATL is shut down so I guess we'll have to go to CLT or on to BHM", etc. It's going to have an impact on fuel carried and route planning I believe.

FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
AAplatnumflier
Posts: 958
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:40 pm

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Sun Nov 28, 2004 2:09 am

Well before pilots determine that, Pilots come up with a diversion airport even with bad weather. But it would also depend on how much fuel the airlines carried. Maybe the pilot would make the decision to put more fuel in there to fly to another destination if he needed to. It all depends on how these airlines are going to handle the fuel situation.

[Edited 2004-11-27 18:10:22]
 
User avatar
RayChuang
Posts: 8029
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:43 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Sun Nov 28, 2004 1:02 pm

I think in the case of SFO, these diversionary airports are available for the A380-800:

Oakland International Airport (Oakland, CA)
Travis AFB (Fairfield, CA)
McClellan Field (North Highlands, CA near Sacramento, CA)
Mather Field (Rancho Cordova, CA near Sacramento, CA)

They'll probably use OAK first as primary diversionary airport because OAK does have a full Federal Inspection Service (Customs and Immigration) station there; yes, it will take a long time to process everyone on the plane but it will work.
 
User avatar
ERJ170
Posts: 5498
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:15 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Sun Nov 28, 2004 1:32 pm

By the time the 380's will be flying.. RDU is supposed to have a larger, quicker, free-flowing customs facility.. very doubtful the passengers would off-load however, but the airport should be able to handle them.. how long it will take, who knows.. but it shouldn't be a problem.. there should also be gates wide enough to handle it at the international gates of the new terminal...
Aiming High and going far..
 
kellmark
Posts: 547
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:05 pm

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Sun Nov 28, 2004 2:01 pm

Just a point on operational procedures/alternates. US carriers and a number of others such as the Canadians, Malaysians, Chinese, and UAE have a joint responsibility system between the pilot and aircraft dispatcher where they both plan the operational plan of the flight and agree on fuel and alternates and the dispatcher also provides support and information when the flight is enroute, as well as tracking the flight's position as it proceeds. So when a diversion becomes possible or likely, the two work together and decide on the appropriate alternate airport. There is significant support given to the flight crew in these situations. But many other countries/carriers do not use this system. Some of these do not even track their aircraft and literally do not know where they are at a given time. This includes carriers flying the largest Boeing and Airbus aircraft.
 
The Red Baron
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 3:03 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:06 am

Airports are usually categorised into a number (depending on runway length) and a letter (depending on the maximum wingspan size of aircraft it can handle). The bigger airports are 4E's (runway over 1800m, a/c wingspan up to 64.99m). The A380 has a wingspan of nearly 80m so is categorised as a "Code F" aeroplane. To handle an "F" aircraft regularly the runway has to be 60m wide (or 75+m with shoulders), the taxiways 25m wide and the runway/taxiway separation greater than for an "E" airport. As such not many UK airports are suitable.
Some airports have devised "operational procedures" to handle the A380 - (also the AN225 and C5 Galaxy which is in fact bigger than an "F" !!!) - by downgrading certain areas of the airport whilst the A380 is in the vicinity. Some airports are currently undergoing major redevelopment to take the A380 - Heathrow for example.
One rule of thumb perhaps is - if the airport has already handled the AN225 or a C5 Galaxy then it will most likely be able to take the A380 on diversion as some form of operational procedure will have been devised or the required separations/clearances already exist.
Nottingham EMA for example is approved by the CAA to handle the AN225 and the A380F on diversions.
As for ground handling - well if the airport can handle a B747 then it can probably handle infrequent A380 movements as 747 steps will fit the A380 lower deck. A self-maneuvering stand will probably be needed though as A380 tow-bars won't be available but a B747 towbarless tug will probably suffice.
I remember in the "old days" when EMA as it was then took 3 x Laker DC-10's on diversion from Manchester. There were no steps big enough to reach the main deck so the pax came down the catering lifts and came out of the baggage hold on to normal B737 size steps !!
In a diversion situation you get creative!!!! (probably wouldn't be allowed to happen these days though).
 
MikeTheActuary
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2003 1:52 pm

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:57 am

One rule of thumb perhaps is - if the airport has already handled the AN225 or a C5 Galaxy then it will most likely be able to take the A380 on diversion as some form of operational procedure will have been devised or the required separations/clearances already exist.

In that case, I am so looking forward to BDL getting its first A380 diversion, since we see international diversions from JFK, EWR, and BOS during bad weather.
 
vafi88
Posts: 2981
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 10:32 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:25 am

If on a trip such as SYD-DEN (fiction as of now) would turn DEN into a snow storm or such, where would the A380 have to turn?

I mean, I don't think SLC could handle the weight, and I don't think that there are any aiports capable of withstanding an A380 in an hour's flight.

I'd think somewhere like DFW would be the closest, and I think it's 1.5+ hours away at least, then LAS which is around 2 hours away. Would the A380 have enough fuel to make it from SYD-DEN, and then divert to LAS, or even possibly LAX???
I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
 
pwm2txlhopper
Posts: 1148
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:40 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:36 am

I'm sure Bangor, Maine is capable. Being a former U.S. Air Force SAC base for B-52s, it boasts an 11,000 ft runway, that is 300 ft. wide vs. 150 at most airports I think. Plenty of ramp space as well, with full customs/Immigration, and ground support facilities.
 
airgeek12
Posts: 725
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:02 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:16 am

yea- what's the runway length supposed to be for landing and/or takeoff for the A380??

*Joe*
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:37 am

>Several weeks ago a CO 777 put in to ACD (Cold Bay, Alaska) because of an engine problem. Another CO 777 was ferried out from EWR to grab the stranded pax . . . a while back DL had to do the same thing. A few years back one of the Chinese carriers put a 747 into ASY (Shemya, Alaska) after having struck CAT, killing one passenger and injuring many others.<

Please check Airnav before posting codes. Cold Bay is PACD but its 3 letter code is CDB. Also, Shemya (which is an Air Force Air Field) is PASY, but its 3 letter code is SYA, with ASY being KASY/Ashley, North Dakota.

>LAX and SFO are not "close". It is not like LAX and ONT or SFO and OAK.
Also, JFK and IAD are not that close either, especially compared to JFK and EWR. This is going to cause a lot of airlines to have to carry a lot of extra fuel.
Also, it is not just the gates, ramps. Taxiways are also having to be modified for the turning radius, etc.
It might be possible to use "paper" alternates, but these would not be places you would actually want to put the aircraft.<

I am sure that if they needed to divert an A380 from LAX (which is almost inconciveable, as WX never does that and it would only be something like serious structural failure or running out of fuel) they would send it to ONT, San Bernadino, PMD or even Pt. Magu NAS before sending it up to SFO. If you needed FIS to take the PAX off, ONT has it and you can drive inspectors out to another field from LAX if need be
As far as SFO goes, OAK is a good alternate, as are several air bases or former airbases there, but people seem to forget that SJC has 2 11,000 foot runways where an A380 can be put down, as well as FIS.

I would also assume that EWR would be an alt. for JFK, though they usually suffer through the same weather problems, so BDL or BOS are more likely. IAD does not need JFK as its alternate, as they have RIC, RDU, BWI, etc. much closer.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
User avatar
ERJ170
Posts: 5498
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:15 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:46 am

Ive seen RDU used as an alternative airport for GSO, BWI, BOS, ATL, CLT, and JFK.. depending on the weather and/or condition..
Aiming High and going far..
 
wingnutmn
Posts: 492
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:27 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:54 am

2 points to make - On a flight to DEN with snow, I believe the only airports around DEN that could handle the diversion would be LAX, SFO, DFW, ORD, and MSP.

Next would be that in the case of a diversion, I believe that the operator of the flight could shut down the 2 outboard engines and taxi with just the inboard engines. This would decrease the FOD in the engines, and allow a plane of the 380's size to divert to any other airport that could handle a 747.

WingnutMN
Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing! It's a bonus if you can fly the plane again!!
 
User avatar
ERJ170
Posts: 5498
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:15 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:00 pm

Will the airports that are expecting scheduled service (ie.. LAX, NYC, SFO, MIA, ORD, etc...) be equiping their International gates with double jetways, jetways and rear bridges, or just single jetways?
Aiming High and going far..
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:08 pm

>Will the airports that are expecting scheduled service (ie.. LAX, NYC, SFO, MIA, ORD, etc...) be equiping their International gates with double jetways, jetways and rear bridges, or just single jetways?<

As of right now, double jetways are the least of LAX's concerns as relates to the A380.

>On a flight to DEN with snow, I believe the only airports around DEN that could handle the diversion would be LAX, SFO, DFW, ORD, and MSP.<

You seem to forget PHX, LAS, ONT, SLC, ABQ and many more.

>Next would be that in the case of a diversion, I believe that the operator of the flight could shut down the 2 outboard engines and taxi with just the inboard engines. This would decrease the FOD in the engines, and allow a plane of the 380's size to divert to any other airport that could handle a 747.<

Again, if runway width was the issue, then LAX would certainly have issues, as its runways are 150 feet long like most other long runways in the US. Still, most of these runways have a good deal of concrete and asphalt around them in the form of service roads, taxiways and ramps, which would mean you are not worried about sucking grass and rocks into the engines. The main issue would be bumping into other airplanes, but with a diversion you know that the plane will be there and ground can plan accordingly
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
User avatar
ERJ170
Posts: 5498
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:15 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:12 pm

As of right now, double jetways are the least of LAX's concerns as relates to the A380.

At some point, it will need to be determined at not. I was just wondering what the majority of hte airlines would do. Besides, I think it will be a concern.. it will make a difference between deplaing/boarding in 30 minutes versus 50-65 minutes.

So, what would their concerns with the 380 be at this point. I assume they are already working on the airport to address the runway/taxiway concerns..
Aiming High and going far..
 
ANCFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 1:11 pm

N1120a "Please check Airnav before posting codes. Cold Bay is PACD but its 3 letter code is CDB. Also, Shemya (which is an Air Force Air Field) is PASY, but its 3 letter code is SYA, with ASY being KASY/Ashley, North Dakota."

Read the Blasted AirNav data wrong - sorry 'bout that all . . . thanks N1120a for squaring that away . . .
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
kellmark
Posts: 547
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:05 pm

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:51 pm

In the NE US alternates are usually heavily affected by the weather pattern of fronts moving from west to east. So for JFK you might need BOS or BDL early and then have to switch later to the west as the front moves across, going to EWR or even PIT if the weather is severe and widespread. Sometimes you have to go much farther north to places such as SYR or YUL and other times you may have to go further south, such as IAD or RIC. It is a dynamic situation, both in the summer and winter, and one or even two alternates may not be enough. They often have to be switched.

Also, as for LAX, for US carriers, in order to use any airport as an alternate, it has to be listed in the airline's operations specifications, and fully approved by the FAA. This means they need the proper weights, approach plates, NOTAMs and they also can get fog in the LAX basin at both LAX and ONT. It is not as easy as it sounds. You can't just go to PMD if you feel like it if it is not listed in your manuals. Sometimes you have to use LAS as an alternate for LAX.

With long flights that will be typical of the A380 from Europe or Asia, wx forecasts and winds can often change and ATC delays can occur, even if the aircraft is equipped for low visibility approaches, as acceptance rates at these airports will sometimes reduce significantly. This will increase the importance of alternate selection and careful management of the flight is necessary to avoid a diversion as much as possible.
 
wingnutmn
Posts: 492
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:27 am

RE: A380 Diversions - Capable Airports

Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:55 am

See flights into ORD, would these flights use MSP, or DTW as a primary diversion? I know that here in MSP. we often see asian carriers divert here during WX diversions, but I imagine most European traffic would go to DTW or MKE (I think MKE would have a long enough runway?), Or would we see these diversions go farther south (i.e. DFW, STL, or IND).

To add to what I was saying in my earlier response, It wasn't the runways that I was talking about when I mentioned the shuting down of the outboard engines. It was taxing on narrower taxiways. I know the 747's wing tips hang out over the grass at most some airports, but the engines are over the concrete. If the engines are further out on the wing of the 380, that is when the FOD will be the problem on taxiing.

WingnutMN
Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing! It's a bonus if you can fly the plane again!!

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos