UAL747
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AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:24 pm

Just got back from a trip to South Padre Island. We drove from Oklahoma City to South Padre through Fort Worth and we passed the AFW airport. I was shocked to see 2 or 3 Varig 777s there as well as an AA 767. It seems like quite a large airport and I'm wondering who primarily uses it. I know AA has some sort of crew training, or tech base there, but the airport just seems huge and very empty. It was cool, though, coming back. We were on I-35W and as we approached the airport, it looked like we were on approach to the runway. It was right in front of us!

SO, what say you about AFW and what are those Varig planes doing there and to whom are they going? It seems that it is well outside and to the north of Fort Worth, and most passengers connect through DAL and DFW, as well as cargo, though I did see a Fed Ex DC-10 at AFW.

UAL

[Edited 2007-08-14 05:26:17]
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
ThePinnacleKid
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:02 pm

AFW is a AA Mx base.... you'll see 767's and 777's there all the time... and it is also a mini-FedEx hub or I guess focus city of sorts.... hence the really large FedEx facility...
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OPNLguy
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:05 pm

See: http://www.alliancetexas.com/FWAA/

There are no passenger services at AFW that I'm aware of. AAL has a big maintenance facility there, and they do contract work as well (so that's why you saw the Varig birds there.) FDX has a mini-hub and sorting facility too.

I won't re-has all the stuff on the Hillwood site above, but in a nutshell, AFW was designed as an industrial airpark, where manufacturers and distributors could site plants in a central US location, and have the ability to hit each coast within 2.5-3.0 hours of flight time. The Texas Motor Speedway is just down the road, and commercial developments and even some residential areas have popped up nearby.
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blueflyer
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:10 pm

There are no scheduled passenger flights at AFW due to the lack of a passenger terminal (and lack of interest for one). There is only one FBO for G/A flights and it is busiest when Nascar is in town as, as you probably noticed, the speedway is just a few miles further North on I-35W. Other than Nascar-related, most G/A flights will use the more convenient FTW or DAL airports.

FedEx operates a two-bank (day and night) sorting center linking North Texas (not just DFW, but SAT, AUS, etc via feeder flights) to major cities around the country and to ANC for Asian destinations.

AA operates its sole 777 maintenance facility at AFW, both for its own and third party aircraft. Most of the 777s coming in for maintenance offload their passengers at DFW on a scheduled flight, and the DFW - AFW leg has to be one of the shortest 777 flights ever.

I did ask five months ago why the Varig 777s were at AFW, and the answers I receive were:
-Third-party maintenance (may have been true then, but they could have done a heavy check and be gone by now, instead they seem not to move);
-Planes stored at AFW because the engines were impounded by court decision while transiting the US (and I guess no one can, or will, remove the impounded engines, put new ones on and fly the planes to their original destination);
-Awaiting retrofit and maintenance before delivery to Royal Brunei (again, why is this taking 5 months of seemingly no activity).

I think AFW has been used occasionally by AA to put down planes low on fuel while waiting out a DFW closure as well, and it does receive the odd charter freighter every now and then, but if it weren't for FedEx, it would be one pretty quiet airport.

I don't know how much more active it may be in the future. FedEx started pretty slowly and has recently increased the number of flights at AFW. It will take people better informed than I to say whether this build-up has peaked or more is to come.

Originally, the airport was built to be a multi-modal facility, with I-35W to the East, a BNSF yard to the West and several distribution centers and warehouses on both ends, but I highly doubt that it is living up to expectations.
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N276AASTT
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:15 pm

Alliance is a maintenance base for the 767's and 777's. If an aircraft is in need of a more detailed maintenance check that could take a while, AA sends the aircraft the short hop over to AFW vs cluttering up space at DFW's hangars. Every once in a while I'll see a 767 or 777 cruising around 10k over Ft Worth heading out to AFW. FedEx also built up an operation there as well. I imagine it's a lot easier having complimentary operations at AFW in addition to their DFW flights due to the fact that they can get in and out faster than at DFW.
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blueflyer
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:24 pm

Quoting N276AASTT (Reply 4):
I imagine it's a lot easier having complimentary operations at AFW in addition to their DFW flights due to the fact that they can get in and out faster than at DFW.

Actually FedEx is both at AFW and DFW. DFW is the FedEx equivalent of an O/D destination with flights to EWR, IND and MEM, while AFW is a mini-hub linked to other O/D destinations such as LAX or FLL.
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commavia
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:43 pm

Alliance Fort Worth was actually America's first purpose-built "industrial airport," designed specifically with industrial utilization and multi-mode transportation interconnectivity in mind. The airport was built to be able to handle railroad connections directly into its facilities, and has good road connections to speed the movement of cargo and freight overland via trucking systems. In addition, AA was also one of the airport's first tenants, and built it's newest maintenance base (and at the time, back in 1992, America's newest civil aviation maintenance facility) at the airport. FedEx, as others have said, also has a sizable sorting hub at AFW that handles a good deal of the company's air-to-ground coverage in Texas and the south-central U.S.
 
UAL747
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:43 am

Yeah, I figured that with the Texas Motor Speedway (quite unreal when you see it) probably brought a lot of g/a aircraft into the airport. I can't believe those Varig planes have been there that long! Someone should snap those up for a decent price, even if they are the 772A model.

You know, I lived in the Uptown Dallas area for about 5 years and I never visited AFW. I guess I never had a reason to be on that part of I-35W. It is impressive from the roadside.

UAL
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Longhornmaniac
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:50 am

If you go check out my TR on the Flagship Detroit, I've got some pictures from around those 777s. Unreal to see up close.

Cheers,
Cameron
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UAL747
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:18 am

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 8):
If you go check out my TR on the Flagship Detroit, I've got some pictures from around those 777s. Unreal to see up close.

All your pics seem to be offline. But the videos of the DC-3 are there, which was cool to watch.

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
Longhornmaniac
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:23 am

Hmm...strange. I can seem them just fine. I have no idea. Perhaps try closing your browser, then restarting?

Lol.  Smile

Cheers,
Cameron
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aa61hvy
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:27 am

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 1):
AFW is a AA Mx base.... you'll see 767's and 777's there all the time... and it is also a mini-FedEx hub or I guess

ANC, OAK, AFW , IND, EWR and MEM are the US Hubs for FX

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 3):
feeder flights) to major cities around the country and to ANC for Asian destinations.

AFW sees a good amount of service-as much as the above listed hubs, everything from a DC-10 to EWR or MD-11 to ANC (and everything in between), as well as flights to BUR, PHX, and a host of other secondary cities.

Hub and spoke at its finest.
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UAL747
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:36 am

Glad to see it getting used. It seems like a high-end airport. The facilities from the road looked very modern and amazing. The AA 767 wasn't there when we were headed south, but coming home I noticed it was there among the RG 777s.

UAL
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MDorBust
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:37 am

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 3):
-Awaiting retrofit and maintenance before delivery to Royal Brunei (again, why is this taking 5 months of seemingly no activity).

Last time I drove by there at least one of the 777s had been repainted into Brunei colors.

I haven't seen the mystery L-1011 that was living there for a while. Does anyone know if it's legal problems were finally sorted out?
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fxramper
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:45 am

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 5):
DFW is the FedEx equivalent of an O/D destination with flights to EWR, IND and MEM, while AFW is a mini-hub linked to other O/D destinations such as LAX or FLL.

Hmm... AFW ops are much larger than DFW. DFW is very infrequent throughout the week. On average, 5 flights. AFW is a hub. AFW tonight has 1x ABQ, 1x ANC, 1x ATL, 2x FLL, 1x IAH, 2x LAX, 1x MSP, 1x OAK, 1x ORD, 1x SAN, 1x SHV, 1x SAT, and 1x TUL.

Quoting AA61Hvy (Reply 11):
ANC, OAK, AFW , IND, EWR and MEM are the US Hubs for FX

ATL and LAX are classified as hubs. GSO will be there next year.
 
aa61hvy
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RE: AFW, Fort Worth Alliance, For What Purpose?

Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:41 am

Quoting FXramper (Reply 14):
ATL and LAX are classified as hubs. GSO will be there next year.

LAX I could see, but ATL???? That's news to me...Who should I verify this with? Hmm.
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