User avatar
einsteinboricua
Topic Author
Posts: 6256
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:11 pm

Max windspeed for airport

Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:05 pm

So tomorrow there's gonna be yet another Nor'easter and there are High Wind Warnings in effect for many airports, including DCA from where I have a flight tomorrow. Forecast calls for sustained winds of up to 40mph with gusts between 60-70mph.

What is the maximum windspeed for airports to operate before they begin delaying/closing operations?

BTW, the flight I have is on an E175 so the bigger question is: do I have a chance to fly out or will my flight be delayed/canceled?
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
User avatar
TOGA10
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:49 am

Re: Max windspeed for airport

Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:58 pm

It depends mainly on wind direction and runway layout. When winds start to exceed 35-40 kts, (40-45 mph) full cross, which means 90 degrees off the runway heading, that's when it starts to get out of limits for most commercial aircraft. The more the wind is in the nose, the less this is limiting.
On the A320, max wind speed for operating the passenger doors is 65kts, and for the cargo doors it is 40kts or 50kts if the nose of the a/c is into wind or the doors are on the leeward side. Cargo doors are also required to be closed before the wind exceeds 65kts.

Sorry I have no specific info about the E175, but my guess it will be quite similar.
Winds at DCA are showing max 54 kts, direction 320 degrees, which should suit rwy 33 quite well. Never been there myself, so I don't know if it's used for departures.
The natural function of the wing is to soar upwards and carry that which is heavy up to the place where dwells the race of gods. More than any other thing that pertains to the body it partakes of the nature of the divine. - Plato
 
RetiredWeasel
Posts: 598
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:16 pm

Re: Max windspeed for airport

Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:40 pm

Can't remember what airport/airbase it was, but the ATC guys had to evacuate the tower before the winds reached some high limit like 50kts. I'm sure that restriction was airport specific and probably applies only to some older structures. Ground crews may have wind restrictions also, like driving around airstairs and using cherry pickers for de-icing.
 
aeropix
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:08 pm

Re: Max windspeed for airport

Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:57 am

Also Passenger Loading Bridges have wind limits as well, that may vary by manufacturer or installation. I think sustained winds of 65kts rings a bell. Beyond that they would have to be parked and chocked, if not tied down.

Also each airline operator will have their own limit in the ops-specs or other operating manual. My airline considers and airport “closed” when the mean surface wind exceeds 60 knots.
 
stratosphere
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:45 pm

Re: Max windspeed for airport

Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:11 am

RetiredWeasel wrote:
Can't remember what airport/airbase it was, but the ATC guys had to evacuate the tower before the winds reached some high limit like 50kts. I'm sure that restriction was airport specific and probably applies only to some older structures. Ground crews may have wind restrictions also, like driving around airstairs and using cherry pickers for de-icing.


I heard IAD had to evacuate their tower today due to the WX
 
SamTheGeek
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:08 pm

Re: Max windspeed for airport

Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:52 pm

TOGA10 wrote:
Winds at DCA are showing max 54 kts, direction 320 degrees, which should suit rwy 33 quite well. Never been there myself, so I don't know if it's used for departures.


RWY 33 (effectively) isn't used for takeoffs anymore because the Pentagon (and its restricted airspace) is immediately beyond the threshold. It's occasionally used for landing, but Runway 1/19 is preferred because its longer. Runway 4 had been closed for years, but I think they're reopening it since they've installed EMAS.
 
e38
Posts: 467
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 pm

Re: Max windspeed for airport

Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:33 pm

Quoting SamTheGeek (Reply # 6), "RWY 33 (effectively) isn't used for takeoffs anymore . . ."

Sam, that's not exactly true. I have seen Runway 33 used quite a bit, especially during peak times, because it helps relieve traffic congestion at the departure end of Runway 01 and balance runway utilization.

Take a look at the RNAV departure procedures at Washington National Airport (KDCA); almost all of them have a provision for a departure from Runway 33, "fly heading 332 degrees to 515 feet, the direct to ADAXE intersection." Even the National 7 departure, which is not an RNAV departure, simply states to "climb on the DCA VOR/DME R328 to 5000 feet . . ."

Of course because of the length of Runway 33--5,204 feet--it is typically used by regional jets. I do not believe I have ever seen a "mainline" type aircraft use Runway 33 for takeoff. Also, I am not aware of restricted airspace over the Pentagon. Does the airspace over the Pentagon have an "R" classification?

By the way, einsteinboricua (thread starter), was your flight delayed/cancelled, or did it operate as scheduled?

e38
 
shaneam12
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:00 am

Re: Max windspeed for airport

Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:13 pm

SamTheGeek wrote:
TOGA10 wrote:
Winds at DCA are showing max 54 kts, direction 320 degrees, which should suit rwy 33 quite well. Never been there myself, so I don't know if it's used for departures.


RWY 33 (effectively) isn't used for takeoffs anymore because the Pentagon (and its restricted airspace) is immediately beyond the threshold. It's occasionally used for landing, but Runway 1/19 is preferred because its longer. Runway 4 had been closed for years, but I think they're reopening it since they've installed EMAS.


RWY 15/33 Is used for takeoffs all the time (the Pentagon is not restricted airspace by the way). On calm wind days, mostly RJs take off on 15/33, but you do get an A319 once in a while.

15/33 is typically used as a backup runway for landing. During busy times of day, the tower will typically ask aircraft if they can accept 15/33 for landing if they get too tight on the spacing between arrivals and departures.

4/22 is open and has been for a while now. It is typically not used due to its runway length but once in a blue moon, you may see an E175 heading up towards the NE cut the departure line and takeoff RWY 4. (Example here: https://youtu.be/xXDKK_8hEFE)
 
B777LRF
Posts: 1999
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:23 am

Re: Max windspeed for airport

Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:05 pm

It's usually not the ability to land that's a problem, at least at airports with a 'cross-wind' runway, rather it's ground handling and door limitations. On a freighter, which I'm mainly acquainted with, the limit for main-deck cargo operations is around 40-50 knots. There are, however, lower limits which apply to usage of belt- and high-loaders. Some operators does not allow usage of belt-loaders in wind speeds above 25 knots, due to the risk of baggage and/or cargo blowing off the belt and spreading the contents over the ramp. There are also limitations for airbridge and stair usage, which varies between 35 and 60 knots, and there are also wind speed limits for fuelling.

In short, you may very well be able to land and taxi to a stand, but that's where the show may very well end. In those cases, it's better to divert to an airport where you can not only land, but where you can also get people and their possessions on and off the aircraft.
From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
 
LH707330
Posts: 1853
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: Max windspeed for airport

Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:45 am

I got stuck in DCA because of the weather. the METAR said 33031G50 on Friday, and up the coast it was worse, so that messed up the entire network. I spent an extra day dinking around DC as a result.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: add2718, akiss20, COSPN, rjsampson and 18 guests

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