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Flightguy123
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LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:01 am

Seems like the LAS tower is closed. 30+ diversions so far. Seems very similar to the MDW closure yesterday.
I guess this now means LAS airspace is considered E/G airspace rather than Bravo?

FlightRadar arrivals board showing mostly diverts to socal.
https://www.flightradar24.com/data/airp ... s/arrivals

https://www.liveatc.net/hlisten.php?mou ... &icao=klas
Last edited by Flightguy123 on Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
32andBelow
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:02 am

It would be E. I’m hearing it’s corona.
 
Flightguy123
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:03 am

32andBelow wrote:
It would be E. I’m hearing it’s corona.


I'm assuming this will be the new norm when cases start popping up at facilities around the country. I wonder what will happen when the bigger airports have a similar issue (ATL,JFK,ORD,LAX)
 
32andBelow
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:04 am

Flightguy123 wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
It would be E. I’m hearing it’s corona.


I'm assuming this will be the new norm when cases start popping up at facilities around the country. I wonder what will happen when the bigger airports have a similar issue (ATL,JFK,ORD,LAX)

MDW and LAS are pretty big!
 
nwadeicer
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:11 am

Trying to understand this. So your saying that at 2200 hours on a Wednesday night they decide to close the tower because of Covid-19? Did someone up there start coughing? Or make mention that they were at a concert two nights ago?
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ATCtower
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:13 am

nwadeicer wrote:
Trying to understand this. So your saying that at 2200 hours on a Wednesday night they decide to close the tower because of Covid-19? Did someone up there start coughing? Or make mention that they were at a concert two nights ago?


Yeah, virus doesn’t add up in this case....
By reading the above post you waive all rights to be offended. If you do not like what you read, forget it.
 
32andBelow
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:17 am

nwadeicer wrote:
Trying to understand this. So your saying that at 2200 hours on a Wednesday night they decide to close the tower because of Covid-19? Did someone up there start coughing? Or make mention that they were at a concert two nights ago?

Someone could have tested positive that was in the tower. Or someone’s family. Who knows what.
 
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Miami
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:33 am

It’s been confirmed that a controller has tested positive for COVID-19.
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Flightguy123
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:38 am

Looks like flights are departing from LAS now but no arrivals besides on AAL inbound from ORD. Aircraft are using the TWR as a CTAF and declaring intentions on the ground frequency as well. Interesting night in LAS
 
blueflyer
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:45 am

Flights landing under VFR. Fun night.
 
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chepos
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:49 am

I guess these scenarios will become more common as more people get tested and the virus spreads around the country.


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DexSwart
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:06 am

I’m confused, if a controller tested positive, why were they not self isolating while they waited for the results?

Seems selfish to still go to work while you may have a virus that is currently affecting most of the world.
Durban. Melbourne. Denver. Hong Kong.
 
smashystyle
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:09 am

DexSwart wrote:
I’m confused, if a controller tested positive, why were they not self isolating while they waited for the results?

Seems selfish to still go to work while you may have a virus that is currently affecting most of the world.


They may have been isolating but once the positive test comes back I imagine you need to decontaminate the tower.
 
blueflyer
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:12 am

 
Bradin
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:33 am

Ouch. Southwest is taking a beating. That's 2 of their major focus cities going offline.
 
jetskipper
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:59 am

Bradin wrote:
Ouch. Southwest is taking a beating. That's 2 of their major focus cities going offline.


Three of you consider SLC to be a focus city. Either way, they are getting kicked while they are down.
 
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exFWAOONW
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:37 pm

I thought control towers were essential services right up there with hospitals and fire departments.
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DL717
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:56 pm

Bradin wrote:
Ouch. Southwest is taking a beating. That's 2 of their major focus cities going offline.


Wait until someone at a TRACON gets it. That’ll turn shit show really fast.
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atcsundevil
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:59 pm

This thread is about the LAS closure. Other discussion belongs in other more appropriate threads.

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IADCA
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:00 pm

exFWAOONW wrote:
I thought control towers were essential services right up there with hospitals and fire departments.


Please tell me that's not a serious post.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:05 pm

IADCA wrote:
exFWAOONW wrote:
I thought control towers were essential services right up there with hospitals and fire departments.


Please tell me that's not a serious post.

I don't see why it wouldn't be. Towers aren't necessarily essential services, but the argument can be made that TRACONs and Centers are. At the very least, they serve a national security role. Either way, many facilities regardless of type are important for the economy, and on a basic level, for handling of aircraft needing priority as well as military aircraft. It all depends on how you define "essential service".
 
IADCA
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:07 pm

atcsundevil wrote:
IADCA wrote:
exFWAOONW wrote:
I thought control towers were essential services right up there with hospitals and fire departments.


Please tell me that's not a serious post.

I don't see why it wouldn't be. Towers aren't necessarily essential services, but the argument can be made that TRACONs and Centers are. At the very least, they serve a national security role. Either way, many facilities regardless of type are important for the economy, and on a basic level, for handling of aircraft needing priority as well as military aircraft. It all depends on how you define "essential service".


Very different proposition, though, for the reason you mention. What was particularly startling given the current climate was "right up there with hospitals."
 
joeljack
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:11 pm

Bradin wrote:
Ouch. Southwest is taking a beating. That's 2 of their major focus cities going offline.


I bet it is actually saving them money, cheaper to not operate a flight then sending them out with 20-40 people on them. Plus, they will just send all their connecting passengers through other airports instead which there is plenty of room on those flights.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:18 pm

IADCA wrote:
Very different proposition, though, for the reason you mention. What was particularly startling given the current climate was "right up there with hospitals."

Certainly someone in respiratory distress could care less whether or not I show up to work at my center tomorrow, so yes, we're far less essential in that sense. We're essential from an economic and national security standpoint, not so essential from a lifesaving standpoint. A variation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, if you will.
 
itisi
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:25 pm

DexSwart wrote:
I’m confused, if a controller tested positive, why were they not self isolating while they waited for the results?

Seems selfish to still go to work while you may have a virus that is currently affecting most of the world.


You may only know you have it when you get tested.
737-300/400/500 ... are NOT classics :)
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:41 pm

Best hospital practice is also appropriate for grocers and flight control. Monitor monitor monitor. Fever coughs sneezes. Then test (testing is pathetically inadequate right now in the US), isolate at home until test results come in, don't return to work until X days after symptoms disappear.

Has the White House discussed emergency ramping up of face masks and testing kits and labs ready to produce results, almost as fast as theoretically possible.
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kavok
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:21 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
Best hospital practice is also appropriate for grocers and flight control. Monitor monitor monitor. Fever coughs sneezes. Then test (testing is pathetically inadequate right now in the US), isolate at home until test results come in, don't return to work until X days after symptoms disappear.

Has the White House discussed emergency ramping up of face masks and testing kits and labs ready to produce results, almost as fast as theoretically possible.


The problem is no one in the US or Canada makes those masks or (much of) the lab materials. They are all made in China, which obviously doesn’t have an over abundance of them to begin with, and pretty much everyone in the world is asking China for more masks. So there is no ability to ramp it up. This is what happens when countries no longer manufacture the basic needs for survival in the event of a crisis, and rely entirely on others.

In our community last week, a few doctors were going to every random hardware store to see what type (if any) construction masks are available. As of today, much of the protective equipment needed for hospital staff fall into the category of Titanic Life Boats... there aren’t enough for everyone. And if there is not enough for the medical caregivers, they won’t be showing up to the general populace anytime soon.
 
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exFWAOONW
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:29 pm

atcsundevil wrote:
IADCA wrote:
Very different proposition, though, for the reason you mention. What was particularly startling given the current climate was "right up there with hospitals."

Certainly someone in respiratory distress could care less whether or not I show up to work at my center tomorrow, so yes, we're far less essential in that sense. We're essential from an economic and national security standpoint, not so essential from a lifesaving standpoint. A variation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, if you will.

Very different proposition, though, for the reason you mention. What was particularly startling given the current climate was "right up there with hospitals."

When you're running low on fuel and need a place to land without occupying the same space at the same time as someone else, I'd call that more important than a hospital. Especially at a busy location like LAS. (at the time)
Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
 
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wxman11
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:09 pm

So who was clearing the traffic at LAS for take-off? I was hearing the tower freq via Liveatc.net but didn't hear anything other than hearing from LAS NW departure freq clearing the flights "cleared as released." Then I heard ATC telling an AA flight to monitor ctaf on 119.9 (basically twr freq for rwy 26L/R. I have to assume that liveatc.net website crashed due to many listeners trying to hear how crazy it was?
 
GoSteelers
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:12 pm

wxman11 wrote:
So who was clearing the traffic at LAS for take-off? I was hearing the tower freq via Liveatc.net but didn't hear anything other than hearing from LAS NW departure freq clearing the flights "cleared as released." Then I heard ATC telling an AA flight to monitor ctaf on 119.9 (basically twr freq for rwy 26L/R. I have to assume that liveatc.net website crashed due to many listeners trying to hear how crazy it was?


Without a tower the airport is uncontrolled. No one will clear the aircraft for takeoff. The aircraft will get a protected IFR release to enter controllers airspace, but its CTAF for his own safe takeoff. Basically one in, one out if you are IFR.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:24 pm

GoSteelers wrote:
wxman11 wrote:
So who was clearing the traffic at LAS for take-off? I was hearing the tower freq via Liveatc.net but didn't hear anything other than hearing from LAS NW departure freq clearing the flights "cleared as released." Then I heard ATC telling an AA flight to monitor ctaf on 119.9 (basically twr freq for rwy 26L/R. I have to assume that liveatc.net website crashed due to many listeners trying to hear how crazy it was?


Without a tower the airport is uncontrolled. No one will clear the aircraft for takeoff. The aircraft will get a protected IFR release to enter controllers airspace, but its CTAF for his own safe takeoff. Basically one in, one out if you are IFR.

Exactly. It works the same way for an IFR clearance at a field that normally doesn't have a tower. Requests used to go through flight service, but now they're typically done directly through flight data at TRACONs or Centers. If there's radio coverage, they can request directly with the radar controller that has assumed the overlying airspace. The departure is then protected, so no other departure or arrival clearances can be issued until the aircraft has departed and is radar identified. Same for arrivals — the approach clearance is issued, the aircraft changes to the advisory frequency, and no departure or arrival clearances can be issued until the aircraft lands and cancels their IFR clearance.
 
32andBelow
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:27 pm

atcsundevil wrote:
GoSteelers wrote:
wxman11 wrote:
So who was clearing the traffic at LAS for take-off? I was hearing the tower freq via Liveatc.net but didn't hear anything other than hearing from LAS NW departure freq clearing the flights "cleared as released." Then I heard ATC telling an AA flight to monitor ctaf on 119.9 (basically twr freq for rwy 26L/R. I have to assume that liveatc.net website crashed due to many listeners trying to hear how crazy it was?


Without a tower the airport is uncontrolled. No one will clear the aircraft for takeoff. The aircraft will get a protected IFR release to enter controllers airspace, but its CTAF for his own safe takeoff. Basically one in, one out if you are IFR.

Exactly. It works the same way for an IFR clearance at a field that normally doesn't have a tower. Requests used to go through flight service, but now they're typically done directly through flight data at TRACONs or Centers. If there's radio coverage, they can request directly with the radar controller that has assumed the overlying airspace. The departure is then protected, so no other departure or arrival clearances can be issued until the aircraft has departed and is radar identified. Same for arrivals — the approach clearance is issued, the aircraft changes to the advisory frequency, and no departure or arrival clearances can be issued until the aircraft lands and cancels their IFR clearance.
since they have a surface area they can assign a departure runway instructions and a good time. Therefore you can have planes on approach and still launch departures with 3 minutes spacing.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:42 pm

32andBelow wrote:
since they have a surface area they can assign a departure runway instructions and a good time. Therefore you can have planes on approach and still launch departures with 3 minutes spacing.

Ah ok. I suspected things might be a bit different on the terminal side of things, but that's not my world. I issue maybe one or two departure/arrival clearances a month, so even the one in/one out thing is rarely an issue for me! Either way, a lot less efficient than normal ops, and it must be a ton of additional workload.
 
32andBelow
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:45 pm

atcsundevil wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
since they have a surface area they can assign a departure runway instructions and a good time. Therefore you can have planes on approach and still launch departures with 3 minutes spacing.

Ah ok. I suspected things might be a bit different on the terminal side of things, but that's not my world. I issue maybe one or two departure/arrival clearances a month, so even the one in/one out thing is rarely an issue for me! Either way, a lot less efficient than normal ops, and it must be a ton of additional workload.

No that’s how we do it at the center for airports without towers or VFR towers. Where I work we own to the ground pretty much everywhere and have lots of airports with commercial jet service. It’s all in the non radar chapter of 7110.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:56 pm

32andBelow wrote:
No that’s how we do it at the center for airports without towers or VFR towers. Where I work we own to the ground pretty much everywhere and have lots of airports with commercial jet service. It’s all in the non radar chapter of 7110.

Clearly I need to go back and review! I only have one sector that partially owns to the ground, and the airports just aren't busy enough. I guess it's one of those rules that you forget if you never use it. Weirdly I remember the OTP phraseology no problem, even though I think I've only ever issued it once.
 
ATCtower
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:59 pm

atcsundevil wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
since they have a surface area they can assign a departure runway instructions and a good time. Therefore you can have planes on approach and still launch departures with 3 minutes spacing.

Ah ok. I suspected things might be a bit different on the terminal side of things, but that's not my world. I issue maybe one or two departure/arrival clearances a month, so even the one in/one out thing is rarely an issue for me! Either way, a lot less efficient than normal ops, and it must be a ton of additional workload.


Terminal has different rules than we do and can run them tighter with those rules I believe.

We will even use non-radar rules at some of our busier non-towered airports but short of the eclipse two years ago, even our busiest non-towered airport rarely even has the traffic for a “nifty rule”.

Major kudos to the approach controllers working this mess, y’all are making the rest of us look good while we whine shout certain conditions in our facilities!
By reading the above post you waive all rights to be offended. If you do not like what you read, forget it.
 
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spinotter
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:59 pm

exFWAOONW wrote:
atcsundevil wrote:
IADCA wrote:
Very different proposition, though, for the reason you mention. What was particularly startling given the current climate was "right up there with hospitals."

Certainly someone in respiratory distress could care less whether or not I show up to work at my center tomorrow, so yes, we're far less essential in that sense. We're essential from an economic and national security standpoint, not so essential from a lifesaving standpoint. A variation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, if you will.

Very different proposition, though, for the reason you mention. What was particularly startling given the current climate was "right up there with hospitals."

When you're running low on fuel and need a place to land without occupying the same space at the same time as someone else, I'd call that more important than a hospital. Especially at a busy location like LAS. (at the time)


Well obviously if enough airports close, there will be many fewer or no airplane flights at all, so air traffic at that point will be totally unimportant, as it already is compared to hospitals. Get a grip.
 
32andBelow
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:01 pm

ATCtower wrote:
atcsundevil wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
since they have a surface area they can assign a departure runway instructions and a good time. Therefore you can have planes on approach and still launch departures with 3 minutes spacing.

Ah ok. I suspected things might be a bit different on the terminal side of things, but that's not my world. I issue maybe one or two departure/arrival clearances a month, so even the one in/one out thing is rarely an issue for me! Either way, a lot less efficient than normal ops, and it must be a ton of additional workload.


Terminal has different rules than we do and can run them tighter with those rules I believe.

We will even use non-radar rules at some of our busier non-towered airports but short of the eclipse two years ago, even our busiest non-towered airport rarely even has the traffic for a “nifty rule”.

Major kudos to the approach controllers working this mess, y’all are making the rest of us look good while we whine shout certain conditions in our facilities!

Up here in the north we have to use these rules to keep places like JNU and KTN going.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:18 pm

ATCtower wrote:
Terminal has different rules than we do and can run them tighter with those rules I believe.

We will even use non-radar rules at some of our busier non-towered airports but short of the eclipse two years ago, even our busiest non-towered airport rarely even has the traffic for a “nifty rule”.

Major kudos to the approach controllers working this mess, y’all are making the rest of us look good while we whine shout certain conditions in our facilities!

The words "the eclipse" are enough to trigger PTSD with some folks! VFR hell that day.

Ditto on the kudos. It's always cool to see fellow professionals adapt and overcome in difficult situations like this. It looks like they've got quite the lineup for departures, but the program for arrivals is helping. Their AAR is only 10 right now :?

32andBelow wrote:
Up here in the north we have to use these rules to keep places like JNU and KTN going.

Yeah, Alaska is a totally different ballgame from what I'm used to!
 
N649DL
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:58 pm

LAS is a highly sensitive airport with disruptions for whatever reason. I remember I was there for my birthday weekend in July 2017 and there was a Severe Thunderstorm Warning (extremely rare for Las Vegas BTW) and they shut down the airport which screwed up flights for entire rest of the day (and this was at like 1pm). LAS didn't recover until the next day once the weather cleared out and I spent another night in Vegas as a result.
 
strfyr51
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:53 pm

DexSwart wrote:
I’m confused, if a controller tested positive, why were they not self isolating while they waited for the results?

Seems selfish to still go to work while you may have a virus that is currently affecting most of the world.

but? Since test kits only recently became available and in limited Numbers? How would they have even Known?? Why didn't we use the test kits available rather than try and develop our OWN?
 
bhill
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:00 pm

Would it not be possible to have retired controllers fill in, or perhaps Air Force reservist in that MOS?
Carpe Pices
 
ATCJesus
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:13 pm

bhill wrote:
Would it not be possible to have retired controllers fill in, or perhaps Air Force reservist in that MOS?


No, controllers have to go through training to be certified in a specific spot. If you certify on LAX ground you have to go through training and recertify on LAS ground if you switch facilities. There’s minimum hours involved, sim time, etc.

I doubt the FAA would waive these requirements due to liability if something happened.
 
AAtakeMeAway
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:39 pm

I'm curious - why did eclipse cause so much headache for ATC?
 
RobertS975
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:04 pm

With no tower, there is no ground control. That would be a real crap show at an airport like LAS or MDW, aircraft taxiing and vehicles needing to cross active runways and taxiways.
 
chrisair
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:13 pm

AAtakeMeAway wrote:
I'm curious - why did eclipse cause so much headache for ATC?


If the Willamette Valley was any indication, everyone and their mother decided it would be a great idea to take an airplane up and fly around in totality.

I wish I was in the GLEX that was circling over my location at FL450 watching it!
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:17 pm

RobertS975 wrote:
With no tower, there is no ground control. That would be a real crap show at an airport like LAS or MDW, aircraft taxiing and vehicles needing to cross active runways and taxiways.


Not of it’s one in, one out. At most only 3 or 4 taxiing at a time. It was funny at LGA, only plane moving during PATCO strike, uncontrolled.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:15 pm

AAtakeMeAway wrote:
I'm curious - why did eclipse cause so much headache for ATC?

Everyone flew into the path of totality, then turned and and flew home at the same time. I've never seen more VFR traffic advisories issued in a single session in my life.

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not of it’s one in, one out. At most only 3 or 4 taxiing at a time. It was funny at LGA, only plane moving during PATCO strike, uncontrolled.

LAS had a line of 20+ aircraft waiting for departure when I looked this morning. It obviously took quite a long time to clear out.

http://airportviewer.com/airport/KLAS
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:36 pm

That would take some sorting out, if no ground/local control.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: LAS airport closed

Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:46 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
That would take some sorting out, if no ground/local control.

No kidding! Everyone involved deserves some real credit for keeping things going, even if things are delayed.

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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