richiemo
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Most efficient US airports for departures?

Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:22 am

Gang, just curious - is there one or two large airports in the US that are considered the best in terms of the speed in which a plane gets off the gate and in the air. I'm not talking on-time performance per se. What I mean is, the busy airports where you'd see the shortest lineups for take off throughout the day. Where they are able to mass-produce multiple take-offs and landings. Denver maybe, with all their runways?
Last edited by atcsundevil on Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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LAXintl
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Re: Up and Out...

Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:44 am

DOT published average taxi times if that is a measure you want to use. For DEN specifically, its not that good due long distances involved.

Of the top 25 largest US airports - MDW, BWI, SAN, PHX, LAS ranked best. Worst were SFO, CLT, DCA, LGA and JFK as of Q1.
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MIAFLLPBIFlyer
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Re: Up and Out...

Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:15 am

LAXintl wrote:
DOT published average taxi times if that is a measure you want to use. For DEN specifically, its not that good due long distances involved.

Of the top 25 largest US airports - MDW, BWI, SAN, PHX, LAS ranked best. Worst were SFO, CLT, DCA, LGA and JFK as of Q1.


Interesting that the ones ranked the best all have large operations from WN.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Most efficient US airports for departures?

Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:50 am

richiemo wrote:
Gang, just curious - is there one or two large airports in the US that are considered the best in terms of the speed in which a plane gets off the gate and in the air. I'm not talking on-time performance per se. What I mean is, the busy airports where you'd see the shortest lineups for take off throughout the day. Where they are able to mass-produce multiple take-offs and landings. Denver maybe, with all their runways?

Airports with multiple parallel runways and those which seldom face IFR conditions would most meet what you're looking for.

PHX is probably the best example in this category, or at least one of the best. PHX is VFR at least 360 days a year, along with having three parallel runways. This is important because it allows the operation of a dedicated departure runway unimpeded by arrival traffic (which operate simultaneous approaches to the other two runways), and because VFR separation can be used between departures.

In IFR conditions, miles in trail must be observed on radar between successive departures. This means that the tower controller must observe the departing aircraft two miles from the departure end of the runway increasing to three before the next clearance may be issued, for example. In VFR conditions, successive large type aircraft (B737/A320) only need be 6,000 feet down the runway and rotating to airborne for the subsequent aircraft to be given a takeoff clearance on diverging courses. Since better than 90% of the aircraft operating from PHX are in the large weight category, nearly every departure can use visual separation with 6000ft/airborne if the departures are properly sequenced (northbound turn after departure, southbound turn after departure, and so on). It allows them to average a departure every 45-60 seconds, with departure rates routinely in the range of 75-78 per hour utilizing a single runway. PHX also has a very simple ramp and taxiway layout using a grid pattern, with the entirety of the field being very compact, thus minimizing taxi times.

Airports which often operate under IFR or MVFR conditions and/or don't have an optimal runway configuration can't come anywhere close to those kinds of numbers.

LAXintl wrote:
Worst were SFO, CLT, DCA, LGA and JFK as of Q1.

CLT somewhat surprises me, but I think it's mostly due to their rather sprawling layout. JFK certainly suffers from the same issue, plus a host of others. SFO is IFR even when it's VFR, so no surprise there. LGA is flat out congested, as is DCA. The biggest issue for DCA is the runway configuration and the complicated arrival and departure procedures around P-56. Between the prohibited areas and the proximity to ADW and IAD, navigating in the SFRA/FRZ is challenging at best. To be honest, even without the airspace complexity, I think they would still struggle to handle more traffic. DCA inbounds have to go into holding almost every day these days due to volume, even when it's VFR and a million.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Most efficient US airports for departures?

Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:38 pm

atcsundevil wrote:
LAXintl wrote:
Worst were SFO, CLT, DCA, LGA and JFK as of Q1.

CLT somewhat surprises me, but I think it's mostly due to their rather sprawling layout.


The issues at CLT are the taxi in times from the west runway and ramp congestion on E. We don't have data this granular, but I expect that CLT's average taxi out time for mainline aircraft is a lot lower than the average taxi time.
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Newbiepilot
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Re: Most efficient US airports for departures?

Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:28 pm

]
Cubsrule wrote:
atcsundevil wrote:
LAXintl wrote:
Worst were SFO, CLT, DCA, LGA and JFK as of Q1.

CLT somewhat surprises me, but I think it's mostly due to their rather sprawling layout.


The issues at CLT are the taxi in times from the west runway and ramp congestion on E. We don't have data this granular, but I expect that CLT's average taxi out time for mainline aircraft is a lot lower than the average taxi time.


CLT has departure banks where all the flights leave at the same time. If you hit an AA departure bank, taxi times are long and ramp congestion with the tight terminal layout does not help. All the airlines except AA are by comparison small, so the number of flights operating outside of the departure banks is limited.

I am surprised ORD is not on the list with UA going back to departure banks and the atrociously long taxi routes.
 
ILS28ORD
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Re: Most efficient US airports for departures?

Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:37 pm

Mdw. If using 22L or 31C for departure it's a super, super short taxi to the active from the gate.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Most efficient US airports for departures?

Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:53 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
]
Cubsrule wrote:
atcsundevil wrote:
CLT somewhat surprises me, but I think it's mostly due to their rather sprawling layout.


The issues at CLT are the taxi in times from the west runway and ramp congestion on E. We don't have data this granular, but I expect that CLT's average taxi out time for mainline aircraft is a lot lower than the average taxi time.


CLT has departure banks where all the flights leave at the same time. If you hit an AA departure bank, taxi times are long and ramp congestion with the tight terminal layout does not help. All the airlines except AA are by comparison small, so the number of flights operating outside of the departure banks is limited.

I am surprised ORD is not on the list with UA going back to departure banks and the atrociously long taxi routes.

PHX has banks from AA and WN as well, but they manage to make things work pretty efficiently. The only time with any real congestion is in the morning departure bank, but even then the wait times rarely exceed 15 minutes for departure.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Most efficient US airports for departures?

Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:57 pm

PHX has a much better layout and neither WN nor AA at PHX are near the size of the CLT departure banks.
 
744lover
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Re: Most efficient US airports for departures?

Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:48 pm

ILS28ORD wrote:
Mdw. If using 22L or 31C for departure it's a super, super short taxi to the active from the gate.


I wonder how SW deals with minimum engine warm-up time on these departures.
 
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thewizbizman
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Re: Most efficient US airports for departures?

Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:40 pm

Well we all know the worst is KDEN (Denver Intl)
 
atcdan
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Re: Most efficient US airports for departures?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:10 pm

https://www.faa.gov/airports/planning_c ... s-2014.pdf

DEN, DFW, ATL, and ORD lead the list with over 200 arrivals/departures per hour. Several factors contribute to this, as someone mentioned earlier when the departures are on alternating departure procedures, departures can take off 6000' apart so long as the preceding aircraft has rotated. One thing all these airports share is an ability for many arrivals to get to the terminal without crossing a departure runway, therefore not causing an interruption in departures. The reason WN is the primary operator at many of the airports with short taxi times is telling. Amongst all the majors, WN is the only one where the pilots move and fly the aircraft like they actually want to get to where they are going.
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