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Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:03 am
by neomax
We all know MEM and SDF are busy during the night, but what about pax airports? Even ATL seems completely deserted during the early morning with a whopping 3-4 hrs of no flights between 1 and 5. My personal guess would be LAX because of time differences between the east and west coast for transcons, and the sheer number of long-haul night arrivals and departures, as well as numerous domestic redeyes. LAX truly is the airport that never sleeps, I have never found a quiet moment in all my years flying there, there is always something going on, and there are always planes taking off or landing. Whether departing for some distant overnight flight or smoking the mains after a long domestic redeye, it always seems to be busy at LAX around the clock.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:16 am
by DKTraveller
Domistic US it might be LAX, but worldwide DXB would be my guess.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:16 am
by AirbusOnly
DXB every day has it's nightly rush-hour between midnight and 3/4 am...never seen a more busy and overcrowded airport during night hours than this one.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:34 am
by B777LRF
DXB, by a long shot, probably followed by DOH. SE Asian airports BKK, SIN and KUL are also very busy during the night, taking advantage of the lower temperatures.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:51 am
by neomax
DKTraveller wrote:
Domistic US it might be LAX, but worldwide DXB would be my guess.


AirbusOnly wrote:
DXB every day has it's nightly rush-hour between midnight and 3/4 am...never seen a more busy and overcrowded airport during night hours than this one.


B777LRF wrote:
DXB, by a long shot, probably followed by DOH. SE Asian airports BKK, SIN and KUL are also very busy during the night, taking advantage of the lower temperatures.


You guys are totally right, I didn’t even think about DXB, but it is insane how busy the place is at 2AM in the morning!

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:11 am
by entdoc
TLV is very busy for departures (US mainly and far east) between 2200 and 0130
as the first flights in the AM early morning bank start departing at 0500
and with three hour checkin time - pax start arriving for these around 0130-0200
so that place is pretty packed in the wee hours

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:49 am
by B777LRF
entdoc wrote:
TLV is very busy for departures (US mainly and far east) between 2200 and 0130
as the first flights in the AM early morning bank start departing at 0500
and with three hour checkin time - pax start arriving for these around 0130-0200
so that place is pretty packed in the wee hours


It's all relative, isn't it?

TLV has, on average, around 12 departures between midnight and 0500. DXB has around 20 between midnight and 0100, and around 100 between midnight and 0500 ....

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:37 pm
by babastud
In the US it's LAX followed then by SFO.

You have trans-con "redeye's", International departures Mexico, Central A, etc. TransPac. Early arrivals are Hawaii pax, and international.
You can have several flights coming in at 2 or 3am from east coast hubs that where backed up all day.

I know Bom and Delhi are active at night for international dep and arrival.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:37 pm
by Kno
I was in BKK a few nights ago for a 1:35am flight on QR and the airport was packed with flights leaving!!!

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:42 pm
by IPFreely
Domestically I would guess any of the west coast airports with lots of red-eye flights are pretty busy at midnight, especially LAX and SFO. Also LAS typically has 20+ departures between midnight and 2am.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:13 pm
by Blerg
Could IST or DOH be top performers in terms of aircraft movement while DXB is in terms of passenger numbers? Both TK and QR operate a large number of narrowbodies to much smaller destinations.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:46 pm
by babastud
I forgot about LAS, a ton of late night Departures.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:20 pm
by 2travel2know2
In Europe, IST might be the busiest between midnight and 0500.
USA West Coast airports like SFO and LAX seem to be busy only between midnight and 0130; When it comes to arrivals and departures spread between midnight and 0500 my airport in the States guess is between MIA and JFK.
As for Latin America, perhaps is LIM or GRU.
TLV is also busy between midnight and 0500, seems BEY and CAI too.
ME3 have hub banks during that time of night, so definitely those Persian Gulf airports are extremely busy between 2400 and 0500.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:01 pm
by jamsco99
Busy when compared to daytime but I think the majority of flights from ibiza are between 2300 and 0400

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:12 pm
by HPAEAA
Internationally I would think both SIN and HND would be on the list, I know JAL has a bank around 11 pm to 1 am and a fair number of early morning departures, Sin also has the kangaroo stop overs and a some inter Asia flights which leave between 11 pm and 2 am.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:06 pm
by dfwjim1
ANC is known for its round-the-clock freight operations but in the summer Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines run 24 hours a day between Seattle and ANC. I was at ANC in May, 2016 and the Alaskan Airlines lounge stayed open until 100 AM.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:54 pm
by timz
From the Wikipedia article

"The April 1957 OAG shows 165 weekday departures from Atlanta, including ... 20 between 2:25 and 4:25 AM.)"

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:13 pm
by muralir
MAA (Chennai) is also packed from about midnight to 5am with international arrivals and departures. It seems like the entire bank of European flights leave during that window, plus a bunch of Asian and ME flights. I always wondered why Indian flights always arrived / departed in the middle of the night, and I think it's because airlines prioritize the scheduling convenience for the higher paying passengers in Europe / US.

Also, I think plenty of US airports could be busier during this time but most have significant nighttime restrictions to reduce noise. I'm actually surprised by how busy LAX is during the night, given how strong the local NIMBY crowd is, especially when one considers that its neighboring airport SNA has probably the most draconian nighttime restrictions of any airport I know. Forget about scheduled flights: you cannot land or takeoff after curfew even if you are delayed. I've had flight crews tell us to please hurry because if we don't take off (not leave the gate, but literally wheels up) before curfew, we would be stranded here for the night. Similarly, it's not uncommon that a flight will divert from SNA to LAX mid-flight simply because a delay at the departure airport, or longer than expected flight time meant that the flight would miss the curfew by a few minutes.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:39 pm
by RohanDXB
Based on a study I was able to find - long story short is that in the window from 2200-0600 UTC (UAE time is UTC +4), you are looking at an average of 60 (range of 58-66) movements per hour which I am fairly certain should be high up there. The only 'downtime' here really is from 1100-1400 UTC averaging 40 movements per hour.

Ro

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:13 pm
by TheEuphorian
In S.E.Asia, It maybe BKK

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:08 pm
by 727LOVER
I was flying LAS-PHX-TPA las week. I was connecting in PHX around 12:30AM....the AA gates were packed !!!! I'm kind of curious how LAX beats THAT.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:55 pm
by aeromoe
B777LRF wrote:
SE Asian airports BKK, SIN and KUL are also very busy during the night, taking advantage of the lower temperatures.


Are the lower temps the only reason, or merely an added bonus? On the morning of the 16th Feb I departed SIN at ~3am on SQ 52 bound for IAH via MAN. My arrival at IAH was about 3pm Texas time...MAN was an hour or two after sunrise. Move the flight to later in the morning and it arrives IAH later in the evening, potentially missing connections. So, yes, temps are typically cooler at night but I'm thinking airlines are also scheduling some flight departures based on arrival time at destination. Just my opinion.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:54 pm
by airbazar
aeromoe wrote:
B777LRF wrote:
SE Asian airports BKK, SIN and KUL are also very busy during the night, taking advantage of the lower temperatures.


Are the lower temps the only reason, or merely an added bonus? On the morning of the 16th Feb I departed SIN at ~3am on SQ 52 bound for IAH via MAN. My arrival at IAH was about 3pm Texas time...MAN was an hour or two after sunrise. Move the flight to later in the morning and it arrives IAH later in the evening, potentially missing connections. So, yes, temps are typically cooler at night but I'm thinking airlines are also scheduling some flight departures based on arrival time at destination. Just my opinion.

Yup, it's all about fitting into the ideal schedule first and foremost.
A lot of airports around the world also have night time curfews. That is why you see multiple departures tightly packed leaving Singapore or India for Europe. Any earlier and the European airports would be closed. Any later and they'd arrive too late and also miss onward connections.

Re: Busiest passenger airport during midnight/early morning

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:54 am
by afterburner
B777LRF wrote:
SE Asian airports BKK, SIN and KUL are also very busy during the night, taking advantage of the lower temperatures.

SIN and KUL are not so busy after midnight.