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LAX772LR
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Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

Thu May 28, 2015 10:07 pm

I've been wondering this for a while... what exactly does Airbus plan to do when (not "if") a sizable hurricane hits its future production area in Mobile?

For the sake of a visual, here's MOB during Katrina:

http://www.weatherstock.com/RFgallery/rf1/katrina/slides/KAT-RF-17.JPG


....only GPT took a harder direct hit.

MSY wasn't as directly affected by the storm, and would've more-or-less been fine had its levies held against the MRGO-enabled surge.

***********************************************
As stated, this is something that they *will* have to face, so what's their plan?
  • Have they made any public disclosure as to what that might be?
  • Any educated guesses by those familiar with industry custom?

    Ditto for Boeing, whose CHS area productions aren't immune from this either.

    I just see this a backlog-choking disaster that's just waiting to happen, yet have never really heard either OEM address it. If I were a shareholder, I'd be concerned.

    Anyone?
  • I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
     
    Sooner787
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Thu May 28, 2015 10:14 pm

    Actually, that looks like Houston a couple days ago   
     
    stburke
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Thu May 28, 2015 10:20 pm

    The field elevation at MOB is something like 219' feet ASL per wikipedia so I don't think flooding/surge is too much of a concern whereas the downtown and ship yards (pictured) are something like 10' feet ASL.

    Apparently it's not at MOB like I thought since the military facility is there but at the downtown airport which is along the shore.   

    From the pictures I've seen, the building looks like your standard new industrial park building made of stressed concrete so I'm sure it'd weather the winds and rain well, especially that far inland. Aircraft that are airworthy, I'd imagine would be flown out and those not would be inside. In all likelihood Airbus knew full well they would need a facility that could handle the weather in MOB or else that would be incredibly myopic for a huge company. But just speculating as always  

    [Edited 2015-05-28 15:23:02]

    [Edited 2015-05-28 15:52:53]
     
    rampbro
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Thu May 28, 2015 10:25 pm

    Quoting stburke (Reply 2):
    n all likelihood Airbus knew full well they would need a facility that could handle the weather in MOB or else that would be incredibly myopic for a huge company.

    Even if for some crazy reason AB did not have the foresight to design for weather, guaranteed their insurance company was mindful of this.
     
    32andBelow
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Thu May 28, 2015 10:26 pm

    Quoting rampbro (Reply 3):
    insurance

    This is it!
     
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    aeromandan
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Thu May 28, 2015 10:33 pm

    Quoting stburke (Reply 2):
    The field elevation at MOB is something like 219' feet ASL per wikipedia so I don't think flooding/surge is too much of a concern whereas the downtown and ship yards (pictured) are something like 10' feet ASL.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Airbus building their production facility at BFM. If that's the case, the field elevation there is only 26 feet. The airport is right on the coast and the Airbus facility would only be about a mile inland at the most. Valid concern, I'd say.
     
    stburke
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Thu May 28, 2015 10:49 pm

    Quoting aeromandan (Reply 5):
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Airbus building their production facility at BFM. If that's the case, the field elevation there is only 26 feet. The airport is right on the coast and the Airbus facility would only be about a mile inland at the most. Valid concern, I'd say.

    You're right, it is. Welp, there goes that theory.
     
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    AVLAirlineFreq
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Thu May 28, 2015 11:14 pm

    Just to put that photo in some location context, it was taken right next to the Mobile River (which leads into Mobile Bay). That area was hard hit by storm surge flooding. The Airbus facility is about 4 miles as the crow flies to the south of where this was taken, just past the point where the river flows into the bay. (BFM sits right on Mobile Bay, and most of the Airbus buildings are probably just under a mile inland.)
     
    SunsetLimited
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Thu May 28, 2015 11:31 pm

    I used to pass through the area shown in the picture above on Amtrak all the time. Mobile hasn't had passenger rail service since Katrina.

    I'm quite sure that a contingency plan is in place consider how massive of an investment this is, but the OP is correct in saying "when", not "if".
    Spread hope like fire.
     
    southsky
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Thu May 28, 2015 11:52 pm

    It would take at least a 26 foot storm surge to even begin to flood their facilities at BFM and I'm sure Airbus has included flood prevention measures in their design.
     
    southsky
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Thu May 28, 2015 11:56 pm

    Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Reply 7):
    Just to put that photo in some location context, it was taken right next to the Mobile River (which leads into Mobile Bay). That area was hard hit by storm surge flooding. The Airbus facility is about 4 miles as the crow flies to the south of where this was taken, just past the point where the river flows into the bay. (BFM sits right on Mobile Bay, and most of the Airbus buildings are probably just under a mile inland.)

    ... and where that picture was taken (downtown), the ground is around 4 feet ASL. I doubt there was water covering the future Airbus facility's grounds, considering they are more than 20 feet higher than the downtown area.
     
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    kaminari
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 12:56 am

    They did have a nasty tornado at Brookley Field a few Christmases ago.. so you cant discount those either.. and all that lightning.. Bad weather happens, so I'm sure they have a plan.. if not them, I'm sure the Mobile Airport Authority does.

    You know I worked at MOB during Katrina and it was the first airport in the impacted area to reopen. It was impressive how hard they worked to get it compliant enough for at least limited ops. Sucked I had to go back to work in that mess, but at least there I had a/c, power, and a job to go back to so soon..
     
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    LAX772LR
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 1:10 am

    I want to point out, despite the flooding shown above--- I'm actually more curious as to what they'll do in the face of winds, for the in-construction aircraft that aren't finished enough to fly outta there.

    Quoting stburke (Reply 2):
    The field elevation at MOB is something like 219' feet ASL per wikipedia so I don't think flooding/surge is too much of a concern whereas the downtown and ship yards (pictured) are something like 10' feet ASL.

    They're not going to be at MOB.

    Quoting rampbro (Reply 3):
    guaranteed their insurance company was mindful of this.

    No doubt, but that still doesn't allay what could turn into a serious bottleneck in production. I wonder if there's something in the contracts that helps mitigate delay penalties for weather?
    I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
     
    dcajet
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 3:22 am

    Airbus is not a fly by night operation; I am certain they have thought about it legally, contractually, logistically, safety wise, architecturally and what have you.

    What if a massive quake hits the SEA area - G_d forbid? And I mean massive. What would happen to Boeing and their production lines there? Of course, they have contingency plans for such scenarios and clauses for acts of God and force majeure in their contracts, as well as the safety and well being of their associates.
    "Unattended children will be given espresso and a free kitten"
     
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    northwestEWR
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 3:25 am

    Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 12):
    I'm actually more curious as to what they'll do in the face of winds, for the in-construction aircraft that aren't finished enough to fly outta there.

    I'd assume they'd hangar anything not complete enough to fly out. That would afford a large deal of protection from the wind and debris.

    A 26' storm surge would be rare but I'm assuming worst case scenario they could sand bag a wall another few feet around that to buy some more protection.

    Interesting thread, thanks for posting.
    Northwest Airlines - Now You're Flying Smart
     
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    LAX772LR
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 5:04 am

    Quoting dcajet (Reply 13):
    Airbus is not a fly by night operation; I am certain they have thought about it legally, contractually, logistically, safety wise, architecturally and what have you.

    What if a massive quake hits the SEA area - G_d forbid? And I mean massive. What would happen to Boeing and their production lines there?

    Calm down.

    No one's accusing them of not preparing/planning.

    The questions are: if anyone knows specifics about their plans, and how that might affect their backlog.......... not "do they have a plan."
    I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
     
    karadion
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 5:13 am

    Quoting LAX772LR (Thread starter):
    Ditto for Boeing, whose CHS area productions aren't immune from this either.

    The impact of a hurricane affecting the Charleston facility is very very low. The facility is 8 miles inland. Yes there are hurricane plans in place but they are very minimal. Boeing will fly any airworthy pre-delivered plane out of Charleston and possibly ask the Air Force to house any planes in their hangers. All the C-17's at Charleston are airworthy so they will leave for other places out of a hurricane's way.
     
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    speedbored
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 6:03 am

    Quoting dcajet (Reply 13):
    Airbus is not a fly by night operation; I am certain they have thought about it legally, contractually, logistically, safety wise, architecturally and what have you.

      
    They have definitely designed the buildings with floods and winds in mind:
    http://www.theaustin.com/case-study/...rbus-aircraft-manufacturing-center

    "Special design considerations were necessary for these buildings due to the location and local soil and weather conditions, involving flood protection, local heavy rain, corrosive protection, deep foundations and influence of hurricanes, including gale-force winds up to 135 MPH. The buildings are designed to achieve LEED® Silver certification."
     
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    garpd
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 8:41 am

    I'd imagine part of any plan would be to scramble any airworthy jet into the air and off to an airport out of harms way?

    The other part of any plan will undoubtedly involve very good insurance that does not have an "act of god" clause in it.
    arpdesign.wordpress.com
     
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    jfklganyc
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 12:26 pm

    I doubt Airbus is too worried about this. Like all companies, they have a plan for weather emergencies.

    I would think Tornadoes are a bigger threat to the facility then the worst hurricane to hit the area in a 50 year history.

    Quoting Karadion (Reply 16):

    The impact of a hurricane affecting the Charleston facility is very very low. The facility is 8 miles inland.

    Hurricanes are huge. CHS is a coastal airport. If 8 miles made you safe from hurricane damage, Florida wouldn't evacuate every time a storm comes.
     
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    smittythepirate
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 1:16 pm

    The Final Assembly building in Charleston is far enough to where you don't have to worry as much about the storm surge. The wind and other damage they have to worry about. I believe they said they have room to fit 14ish (I have 18 in my head for some reason) planes in the FA building. It would be tight but they could arrange it. They can also strap down the planes that are on the flight line if needed.

    Luckily hurricanes are slow enough to where you can prepare ahead of time.
    www.jbweather.com
     
    southsky
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 1:23 pm

    Quoting kaminari (Reply 11):
    They did have a nasty tornado at Brookley Field a few Christmases ago..

    The 2012 Christmas tornado did not touch Brookley Field.
     
    karadion
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 2:16 pm

    Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 19):
    Hurricanes are huge. CHS is a coastal airport. If 8 miles made you safe from hurricane damage, Florida wouldn't evacuate every time a storm comes.

    Which again the odds of a hurricane are VERY VERY VERY low directly hitting CHS airport. Contrast to Florida which has the Gulf of Mexico on the left side which a lot of hurricane gets their "fuel" due to the Gulf's warm water. So the danger for Florida is significantly higher since it's surrounded by water except in the north. For us, it only comes from 1 direction, the east. We already had a tropical storm (Ana) a couple weeks ago off the Carolinas but it was of absolutely no concern because it was already disintegrating prior to landfall and contacted Myrtle Beach / North Carolina.

    That being said, yes Boeing does have hurricane plans in place, they do have safety briefings on it prior to hurricane season starting every year. They advise workers that they will terminate Boeing South Carolina if a threat of a hurricane is real and do actually pay attention to NOAA and their internal weather division.
     
    karadion
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 2:21 pm

    Quoting smittythepirate (Reply 20):
    I believe they said they have room to fit 14ish

    No, but it's really going to be 11 at best. The 787 is significantly large inside the 88-30 building. They will move all their fuselage components that are sitting outside next to the Mid inside into the Position 5 and 6 spaces which makes it really tight. In the future, it could easily accommodate up to 20 (7+7 + 6 spaces between each position from 0 to 6) when they expand the 88-30 to a parallel position adding 800 feet of space going from 0 to 6 on each lane.
     
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    smittythepirate
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 2:36 pm

    Okay I couldn't quite remember the number they gave me.
    www.jbweather.com
     
    n92r03
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 6:25 pm

    Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 19):
    If 8 miles made you safe from hurricane damage, Florida wouldn't evacuate every time a storm comes

    Amen.

    Anyone remember Charley in August of 2004? Came ashore in southwest Florida and damaged aircraft and gate equipment at MCO, a few hundred miles away.
     
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    TVNWZ
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 6:36 pm

    Charlie barreled right over Orlando surprising everyone. It was forecast to hit Tampa. Lots of Tampians evacutated to..wait for it...Orlando! Right into the heart of the storm. You never know quite where these storms are going to go.
     
    chrisair
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    RE: Airbus' Hurricane Contingency Plan?

    Fri May 29, 2015 6:53 pm

    Quoting kaminari (Reply 11):
    and all that lightning

    Lightning isn't really an issue unless you're outside standing around the planes. Large commercial buildings in lightning prone areas (and even some non lightning prone areas) have lightning protection systems with rods and ground wires. I've seen them all over Alabama, Georgia, Florida etc. Heck, most large buildings here in Arizona have them.

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