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Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 6:43 am

 
RyanairGuru
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 8:16 am

It looks like they are going to expand T2 landside slightly which is great to hear, although over all the terminal expansion looks somewhat modest (beyond T4 which we already knew about).

While I really shouldn't knock MEL for actually having a strategic plan that allows for growth (something that is sorely missing 800km north), I cannot help but wonder if 4 runways are actually necessary if the terminal facilities aren't able to support that level of growth.
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DexSwart
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 9:16 am

I wonder if they'll be able to accommodate duel take off and landings?
Always good to see a home airport grow a little bit more!
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tayser
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 9:21 am

4 eventually - there's always been a plan for 4 runways.

It's the 3rd runway now has a more concrete (or asphalt?) timeframe - in ops by 2022.
 
SYDSpotter
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 10:30 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
I cannot help but wonder if 4 runways are actually necessary if the terminal facilities aren't able to support that level of growth.

Essentially it is two sets of 2 parallel runways which intersect each other, the maximum no. of runways that can be in use at anytime simultaneously is only 2. The actual 2 parallel runways used will depend on wind conditions etc.

It certainly isn't unreasonable for MEL to need 2 active runways.
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 12:19 pm

Quoting SYDSpotter (Reply 4):
It certainly isn't unreasonable for MEL to need 2 active runways.

Looking again I see what you mean that all 4 won't be used simultaneously. In that case I think it's a great plan, as it would allow for capacity growth over the current cross-runway situation.
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PITrules
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 12:58 pm

I think it is a quite odd runway layout honestly, as each runway crosses two others thereby minimizing capacity compared to other four runway layouts. When was the last time an airport was built with 4 runways in which each runway crosses two others? MDW? SFO? Granted, MEL will have greater spacing, but still a 60 year old concept. They are planning 4 runways with the intent of only using 2 at a time. But they will still pay the cost of designing, building, and maintaining 4 runways for decades.

Ideally I would think up to 3 parallel and one crosswind. Or if they insist on 2 sets of two parallel, at least uncouple the runways so they don't intersect. That way at least 3 of them can be used during less than strong wind conditions which is almost always.
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airbazar
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 1:33 pm

Quoting PITrules (Reply 6):
Ideally I would think up to 3 parallel and one crosswind. Or if they insist on 2 sets of two parallel, at least uncouple the runways so they don't intersect. That way at least 3 of them can be used during less than strong wind conditions which is almost always.

When I read the document I get the impression that there are environmental and "heritage" restrictions, which is not uncommon in today's world. So your options may have been even more costly if at all possible.
 
qf002
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 4:55 pm

Quoting PITrules (Reply 6):
Ideally I would think up to 3 parallel and one crosswind. Or if they insist on 2 sets of two parallel, at least uncouple the runways so they don't intersect. That way at least 3 of them can be used during less than strong wind conditions which is almost always

But that sort of capacity simply isn't needed. What MEL needs is the flexibility to operate at capacity at all times, regardless of weather conditions (and the winds can be pretty volatile at MEL).

Personally I think the plan is a good one. My only reservation would be the fact that the positioning of 09R/27L could cause issues if they want to add more terminal space south of T4 in future (I'm thinking very long term here).
 
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dirktraveller
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 5:28 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
I cannot help but wonder if 4 runways are actually necessary if the terminal facilities aren't able to support that level of growth.

I am with you on this one. A plan to have four active runways by 2022 is a strategic plan and certainly good news for the future of MEL, given the increasing traffic MEL is getting these days.

But personally, I feel they have more things to work on before having four runways, such as upgrading their terminal capacity to ensure their terminals and facilities is able to cope with the increased traffic that comes with the additional number of runway(s) available.

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Airvan00
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 10:13 pm

Quoting PITrules (Reply 6):

It might be a 60 year old concept but melbourne has a problem with high winds.
3 parallels and a crosscwind runway would be useless. With this arrangement it can be guaranteed a movement rate of 80 per hour in almost all conditions.
 
tayser
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 11:01 pm

Quoting dirktraveller (Reply 9):
I am with you on this one. A plan to have four active runways by 2022 is a strategic plan and certainly good news for the future of MEL, given the increasing traffic MEL is getting these days.

It is NOT a plan for 4 operational/active runways by 2022.

There has always been scope for 4 runways - 2 x 2 intersecting. The latest Master Plan Draft merely gives a more concrete date on when the 3rd will be operational: 9/27 will become 9L/27R and a new 9R/27L will be built and operational by 2022.

The thread title is misleading.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 6):
think it is a quite odd runway layout honestly, as each runway crosses two others thereby minimizing capacity compared to other four runway layouts. When was the last time an airport was built with 4 runways in which each runway crosses two others? MDW? SFO? Granted, MEL will have greater spacing, but still a 60 year old concept. They are planning 4 runways with the intent of only using 2 at a time. But they will still pay the cost of designing, building, and maintaining 4 runways for decades.

MEL sees the smallest amount of little props/jets of the big 3 airports on the east coast: BNE gets more movements than MEL. Excluding DPO, BWT, ABX, MGB, almost all destinations served from MEL are a 737/320 or bigger, thus the need for 4 let alone 3 parallel runways is overkill.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Thu May 23, 2013 11:13 pm

So they plan to have two more runways built in the future, and also to lengthen the two they have now.
 
ABpositive
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Fri May 24, 2013 1:02 am

I think the reason why MEL is getting in early is to pre-empt the housing developments which have been creeping in closer and closer to the airport over time.
 
StarAC17
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Fri May 24, 2013 1:39 am

Quoting ABpositive (Reply 13):
I think the reason why MEL is getting in early is to pre-empt the housing developments which have been creeping in closer and closer to the airport over time.

Also to not fall into the same trap that SYD has where capacity gets constrained.

Quoting SpaceshipDC10 (Reply 12):
So they plan to have two more runways built in the future, and also to lengthen the two they have now.

Yeah, pretty much.

I understand the extension of the current 9/27 to 3500m to accommodate loaded heavies but extending the current 16/34 about 850m to 4500m seems unnecessary. I reckon it is for the heat in the summer but even 16/34 at SYD which gets the same heat is under 4000m in length
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tayser
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Fri May 24, 2013 3:07 am

Quoting ABpositive (Reply 13):
I think the reason why MEL is getting in early is to pre-empt the housing developments which have been creeping in closer and closer to the airport over time.

The sprawl belt is constrained and directly west and north of the runways will always be open / non sprawl land:

http://www.gaa.vic.gov.au/wp-content/Assets/Files/Map%20of%20Urban%20Growth%20Zone%20-%20September%202012.jpg


The residents who live directly east of the runways have always known the airport would be expanded and many in the area - as they no doubt work at the airport - are supportative.

Despite it's location & proximity to the eastern quadrants of Melbourne (which will become less and less of an issue as most growth will be to the north and west, see map), Tullamarine has always had pride of place in terms of protecting the airport's operations. A very rare example of planning foresight from the 60s/70s
 
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dirktraveller
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Fri May 24, 2013 3:53 am

Quoting tayser (Reply 11):
It is NOT a plan for 4 operational/active runways by 2022.

Thanks for the clarification. I guess MEL have even less time to work on upgrading their facilities to meet the demand when third and fourth runway is active.

On another note, I read their master plan on their website, and found that there is no mention to expand their terminals, especially the International section (T2). Does this mean when the 3rd and 4th runways become active, we can expect that their terminal remains within present capacity?

Regards,
Dirktraveller
 
Aeolus
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Fri May 24, 2013 4:21 am

What about also thinking of better linking the city with the airport?
The bus ride is great, but way too expensive! Is there any way of linking MEL to Southern Cross or Flinders for that matter?

It would truly help and it could cut the time considerably also creating more competition and hopefully driving the commute prices down.

Other than that, it looks like a great project and just wondering what their plans are with the terminals? It looks like it should be big enough to justify a light rail link between the different terminals.

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StarAC17
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Sat May 25, 2013 5:03 am

Quoting Aeolus (Reply 17):
What about also thinking of better linking the city with the airport?
The bus ride is great, but way too expensive! Is there any way of linking MEL to Southern Cross or Flinders for that matter?

It has been suggested that there will be a train link to MEL from either the Cragieburn lines or the Sunbury lines. Most likely the prior spitting at Essendon or Sunshine (the latter). The most logical thing to me is a shuttle from Essendon or Broadmeadows running to Flinders St. when needed.

Some plans below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propose..._extensions#Melbourne_Airport_line
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lightsaber
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Sun May 26, 2013 9:26 pm

Good to see MEL has a plan. 2 runways in each direction for winds will certainly be needed. When? I can only guess. But even if that is 2050... so what, its best to have a plan.   

Quoting tayser (Reply 3):
It's the 3rd runway now has a more concrete (or asphalt?) timeframe - in ops by 2022.

Thank you.

Quoting Aeolus (Reply 17):
What about also thinking of better linking the city with the airport?
The bus ride is great, but way too expensive! Is there any way of linking MEL to Southern Cross or Flinders for that matter?

Ground transport must be part of the plan. I too would like to know more about possible rail options.

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SYDSpotter
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Mon May 27, 2013 8:08 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 19):
Ground transport must be part of the plan. I too would like to know more about possible rail options.

The issue will be funding and politics (which is always the issue in Australia). I think I read somewhere that the Govt would be unwilling to build a rail network due to extensive lobbying from the taxi industry as this would break up the cosy monopoly the taxi industry has on transport to/from the airport   The Melbourne airport owners (who get lots of $$$ from car parking) and the bus operators are funnily enough also advocating against rail   

Mind you, SYD's airport rail link (albeit an expensive and lousy service) doesn't seem to have impacted the Sydney taxi's too much.
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smi0006
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Mon May 27, 2013 8:38 am

I think terminal capacity will have to be increased greatly before thinking about the need for new runways. Whilst unpleasant, even gate space can be dealt with due through increased usage of bussing bays.

What cannot be over come quickly and cheaply is a lack of check-in space, at times peak periods (morning and night) its one carrier after another on counters, with no free space - this presents massive issues in the event of disruptions, especially with A380 aircraft. There are plans to do some cheap upgrades, improving lighting maybe? But a significant refurb wouldn't go astray. The new check-in counters are quite narrow, refurbishing older counters making them narrower would be a cheap way to increase check-in capacity and improve the general ambience of the check-in hall. A retile wouldn't go astray!

Whist we have such stringent quarantine and inspection requirements, despite recent reconfiguration the current space is dark cramped and simply too small!

Customs facilities are okay (outbound is quiet pleasant, inbound is acceptable), however huge delays are still often experienced- this is mainly due to the inefficiency of the customs service. It is common both in and outbound during peak periods to observe four customs officers on duty on counter processing passengers, whilst another four stand behind the counters doing god knows what (supervising, observing, loitering??) - whilst 20 counters remain closed and the line snakes on and on, I don't think it would even be necessary to increase the number of customs officers, just have more on counters!! Don't get me started on their general service levels or grooming. I think the customs service in airports needs a good review!!
 
Thenoflyzone
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Mon May 27, 2013 2:16 pm

People, the 4th runway is not needed until after 2040. I will not be built until then.

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r2rho
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RE: Melbourne Airport To Expand To 4 Runways

Tue May 28, 2013 12:37 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
over all the terminal expansion looks somewhat modest (beyond T4 which we already knew about). I cannot help but wonder if 4 runways are actually necessary if the terminal facilities aren't able to support that level of growth.
Quoting smi0006 (Reply 21):
terminal capacity will have to be increased greatly before thinking about the need for new runways.

The 3rd runway will definitely be needed by 2022, and it's good to have plans for the 4th already laid out. In any case, building runways is the most difficult thing, much more than building terminals (I'm talking from a purely political point of view, which is all that matters in airport expansion). So once you have the runways in place, adding terminals afterwards is "easy".

Quoting PITrules (Reply 6):
as each runway crosses two others thereby minimizing capacity compared to other four runway layout [...] if they insist on 2 sets of two parallel, at least uncouple the runways so they don't intersect. That way at least 3 of them can be used during less than strong wind conditions which is almost always.

I am not familiar with the wind situation but I assume they must have some serious crosswinds as otherwise the plan wouldn't make sense. But as you say, it wouldn't cost much extra effort to slightly shift one of the runways to avoid the intersections.

Quoting Aeolus (Reply 17):
What about also thinking of better linking the city with the airport?

Agree, a rail link is a must given the size of the airport development.