The inner alley is capable of handling anything up to an A320. Yes, they can all handle A320's and still be operational. The only gate that MAY be an exception (which I cannot confirm) is A35. This is the gate that is at the end of the alley adjacent to the Westin hotel. This gate may have a smaller footprint than the others and I believe when they constructed the hotel it reduced the size of this gate. They often do not use this gate due to how they have pushback the aircraft from this gate.
It is very rare to see a DC-9 using the outer gates (even numbers) but I have seen it on occasion. They designed the terminal so the gates could easily be cross-utilized by the DC-9 & Airbus family without overlap, and leaving ample space for ground equipment.
A35 can't be used by anything other then a DC-9 because pushback would be trickier and the wing length would go into the westin which would not be good, but you could start a thread if that hapened about NWA getting rid of there Airbus aircraft like the DC-9 specualtion a while back, my dad was an architect who worked on the terminal designs, so i pulled out the bluprints and saw this, also there are plans for future extensions to both terminals at later dates
Jad0761... I don't recall any plans that included an expansion to the A-Concourse other then additional international gates. All of the expansion for the WorldGateway is planned for the B & C Concourses (which now that they are on the same levels one probably could agrue should just be the B-Concourse.
Before the days of the Westin, at least on paper, all of the gates on the east were designed for DC-9's and A320/A319 a/c. Once the Westin was under way all that could fit at A35 was the DC-9's.
I can speak from fact considering I worked with SHG to develop the a/c parking for that gate.
Any of the concourses could be extended, however the only one that is still marginally feasible would be concourse B. Even then, the walking times would become unrealistic if it were to be extended much farther. Same thing with Concourse C.
However, the current amount of gates are extremely underutilized, so further expansion is a moot point. The average number of flights per gate is somewhere around 5-6 at best. All of concourse B is capable of handling up to A320 sized aircraft. CO & DL will fit 757's into their gates on B as necessary. Now on the other hand, the parking deck at the Worldgateway fills up during peak periods. Unfortuntely, you can't help that with the overreliance of the automobile in Southeastern Michigan.
I have to disagree about A-Concourse. The only way that it can expand anymore would be if runways 9R/27L and 9L/27R were displaced. The A-Concourse was maximized based on the limits of FAR Part 77. There actually is a wavier in place from the FAA for the south end of the building. A portion of t/w J is blocked from the FAA tower. NW must call the tower for approval of pushbacks for, I believe A1 and A2, I might not have the gate numbers correct.
The only expansion of that can occur on the A-Concourse with relative ease would be the addition of international gates.
Makes sense. Thats what I mean, that A could not be extended without modifications to the airfield. You are correct....A1 & A2 do require tower contact for pushback clearance since they push directly onto an active taxiway. Anyways, even if did modify the airfield, the walk times would be too long anyways.
B could be extended, but not too much further without some passenger transporting system. It could make for some extremely long walk times from the end of B, which DL passengers already complain about now.