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FriscoHeavy
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CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:07 am

As we approached Cape Town (CPT) today, I began to wonder about alternate airports in case of bad weather.

I get alternate airports in route, but let’s say the weather turns foul in the last hour or so of flight. Where would the plane divert to if it couldn’t land?

I’d doubt there would be enough fuel to get back to JNB or Durbin. Is there another airfield near CPT that can be used as an alternate until the weather clears up?
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:36 am

Port Elizabeth (FAPE) is 400 nautical away. Weather forecasts are usually accurate and the crew would plan for the event, if below minimum weather was forecast. Like Australia, ZAR has few alternates close by many large airports.
 
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zeke
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:36 am

FriscoHeavy wrote:
As we approached Cape Town (CPT) today, I began to wonder about alternate airports in case of bad weather.

I get alternate airports in route, but let’s say the weather turns foul in the last hour or so of flight. Where would the plane divert to if it couldn’t land?

I’d doubt there would be enough fuel to get back to JNB or Durbin. Is there another airfield near CPT that can be used as an alternate until the weather clears up?


Where are you coming from ? We would use BFN, DUR, JNB.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:45 am

zeke wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:
As we approached Cape Town (CPT) today, I began to wonder about alternate airports in case of bad weather.

I get alternate airports in route, but let’s say the weather turns foul in the last hour or so of flight. Where would the plane divert to if it couldn’t land?

I’d doubt there would be enough fuel to get back to JNB or Durbin. Is there another airfield near CPT that can be used as an alternate until the weather clears up?


Where are you coming from ? We would use BFN, DUR, JNB.


We came in on Qatar Airways, but the logic can apply to any flight really (such as the United flight from EWR).

It’s one thing to know 2-3 hours ahead of time that weather is bad and to head to DUR, JNB, etc, but I was curious if say in the last 30-60 minutes the weather took a turn for the worst, what options you’d have.

Would a flight such as EWR-CPT be carrying enough fuel to divert to Port Elizabeth or Durban if for whatever reason, it was determined at the last minute (again, say 30-60 minutes) CPT was below minimums or the runway was no longer available due to a disabled aircraft, etc.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:06 am

60 minutes out, those airports would be within range, just about overhead JNB or BFN. From EWR, they’d look at Windhoek. Once you start descent, the options get fewer, unless the remaining fuel was planned for an alternate.
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:08 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
60 minutes out, those airports would be within range, just about overhead JNB or BFN. From EWR, they’d look at Windhoek. Once you start descent, the options get fewer, unless the remaining fuel was planned for an alternate.


Thank you, sir.
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zeke
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:15 am

FriscoHeavy wrote:
Would a flight such as EWR-CPT be carrying enough fuel to divert to Port Elizabeth or Durban if for whatever reason, it was determined at the last minute (again, say 30-60 minutes) CPT was below minimums or the runway was no longer available due to a disabled aircraft, etc.


CPT RW01 has Cat3B, so weather is not going to keep you out. Disabled aircraft you would divert before descent so you have a lot more fuel available, JNB would be available.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:35 am

zeke wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:
Would a flight such as EWR-CPT be carrying enough fuel to divert to Port Elizabeth or Durban if for whatever reason, it was determined at the last minute (again, say 30-60 minutes) CPT was below minimums or the runway was no longer available due to a disabled aircraft, etc.


CPT RW01 has Cat3B, so weather is not going to keep you out. Disabled aircraft you would divert before descent so you have a lot more fuel available, JNB would be available.


Much appreciated, Zeke.
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AirKevin
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:38 pm

Haven't done flight dispatch since I took the course in 2013, but from what I recall, during planning, you needed fuel for the trip AND fuel for the most distant alternate, so in theory, you shouldn't be in a situation where you don't have enough fuel to divert once you get there. I know there's more to fuel planning than just that, but for the purpose of answering your question, I'll only cover those two points of the fuel planning.
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N1120A
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:02 am

An important airport like CPT has CAT IIIB capability, so the airlines aren't going to have a problem. Additionally, the weather there is rather good most of the year, so you aren't necessarily going to be seeing super low ceilings. There are more options that open up for GA, because they don't necessarily have the same runway and service requirements. My guess is QR uses JNB, BFN or even KIM. UA is probably using WDH, WVB or UTN, though JNB might not be out of the question.
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SAAFNAV
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:29 am

N1120A wrote:
An important airport like CPT has CAT IIIB capability, so the airlines aren't going to have a problem. Additionally, the weather there is rather good most of the year, so you aren't necessarily going to be seeing super low ceilings. There are more options that open up for GA, because they don't necessarily have the same runway and service requirements. My guess is QR uses JNB, BFN or even KIM. UA is probably using WDH, WVB or UTN, though JNB might not be out of the question.


Cape Town only has CatII equipment.

http://www.caa.co.za/Aeronautical%20Cha ... _AD-01.pdf
http://www.caa.co.za/Aeronautical%20Cha ... AY2007.pdf

I don't know about international flights, but some local airlines have diverted to AFB Langebaanweg in the past.
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zeke
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:19 pm

SAAFNAV wrote:
Cape Town only has CatII equipment.


Cat 3B equipment, they only publish a Cat 2 chart. Individual airlines need to obtain their own LVO approvals for each state they fly into. When flying the Cat3B approach you would use the Cat 1 chart and the decision height (not the MDA on the chart) that the airline is approved for in that state.

Image



SAAFNAV wrote:
I don't know about international flights, but some local airlines have diverted to AFB Langebaanweg in the past.


The base is an unlicensed military airport, with only Cat 6 RFF. We would need Cat 7 or greater for an alternate. It is not a designated international airport in the AIP.
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SAAFNAV
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:25 pm

zeke wrote:
SAAFNAV wrote:
Cape Town only has CatII equipment.


Cat 3B equipment, they only publish a Cat 2 chart. Individual airlines need to obtain their own LVO approvals for each state they fly into. When flying the Cat3B approach you would use the Cat 1 chart and the decision height (not the MDA on the chart) that the airline is approved for in that state.

Image



SAAFNAV wrote:
I don't know about international flights, but some local airlines have diverted to AFB Langebaanweg in the past.


The base is an unlicensed military airport, with only Cat 6 RFF. We would need Cat 7 or greater for an alternate. It is not a designated international airport in the AIP.


Thank you Zeke, I stand corrected then.

I never had to look up CatIII operations before, but our CAA does indeed not make it easy to find the required info.

I assume the local airlines has got contracts in place then to divert to Overberg or Langebaanweg. There has also been some local traffic at Waterkloof, but none of them are licensed aerodromes.
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m007j
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:44 pm

SAAFNAV wrote:
zeke wrote:
SAAFNAV wrote:
Cape Town only has CatII equipment.


Cat 3B equipment, they only publish a Cat 2 chart. Individual airlines need to obtain their own LVO approvals for each state they fly into. When flying the Cat3B approach you would use the Cat 1 chart and the decision height (not the MDA on the chart) that the airline is approved for in that state.

Image



SAAFNAV wrote:
I don't know about international flights, but some local airlines have diverted to AFB Langebaanweg in the past.


The base is an unlicensed military airport, with only Cat 6 RFF. We would need Cat 7 or greater for an alternate. It is not a designated international airport in the AIP.


Thank you Zeke, I stand corrected then.

I never had to look up CatIII operations before, but our CAA does indeed not make it easy to find the required info.


The UA approach chart has minimums listed all the way to CAT IIIA
 
AirBoat
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:44 am

The winter rainfall at cape town is mostly coming from the west.
the winds are north west so runway 01 would be in use.
if the weather system has been going for a few days then all the coastal airfields will have the same weather ie
Overberg, PE, east London and Durban.
the best alternates would be north of the weather which would be Upington, Bloemfontein and jhb. (the winter weather usually only gets as far north as beaufort west)
Logistically dumping 400 pacs on upington would not work, its a smallish town.
the preference of alternates would probably be jhb, Bloemfontein and Durban.
the jhb cpt flight time is usually 2 hours, so 1 hour out , you can easily get back to jhb.
 
majano
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:42 pm

SAAFNAV wrote:
zeke wrote:
SAAFNAV wrote:
Cape Town only has CatII equipment.


Cat 3B equipment, they only publish a Cat 2 chart. Individual airlines need to obtain their own LVO approvals for each state they fly into. When flying the Cat3B approach you would use the Cat 1 chart and the decision height (not the MDA on the chart) that the airline is approved for in that state.

Image



SAAFNAV wrote:
I don't know about international flights, but some local airlines have diverted to AFB Langebaanweg in the past.


The base is an unlicensed military airport, with only Cat 6 RFF. We would need Cat 7 or greater for an alternate. It is not a designated international airport in the AIP.


Thank you Zeke, I stand corrected then.

I never had to look up CatIII operations before, but our CAA does indeed not make it easy to find the required info.

I assume the local airlines has got contracts in place then to divert to Overberg or Langebaanweg. There has also been some local traffic at Waterkloof, but none of them are licensed aerodromes.

In an emergency, if all the flight crew needed was a landing strip, would AFB Ysterplaat be a possibility? The runway is listed as 1585 metres. It is much closer to Cape Town International.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:41 pm

Kinda short, I haven’t been there in years but the wasn’t a civil approach chart for Ysterplaat then.
 
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Web500sjc
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:11 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
60 minutes out, those airports would be within range, just about overhead JNB or BFN. From EWR, they’d look at Windhoek. Once you start descent, the options get fewer, unless the remaining fuel was planned for an alternate.



As far as US Rules are concerned (since were talking about UA), flights over 6 hours to international destinations require an alternate to the destination be planned. Of course the airline can re dispatch so that the last portion of the flight is dispatched at under 6 hours in length and doesn’t automatically require an alternate. It would Generally be pretty stupid for a US airline to send a flight on a ULH route without enough fuel for an alternate. A lot of things can change in 16 hours, if the WX forecast got to the point where the flight would require an alternate within the first 10 hours of the flight- The airline would then need to divert to grab the gas required to meet the alternate requirements.

You can be assured that all ULH flights on US flights depart with at least enough fuel to get to the destination, do 10 minutes of holding, an approach and then divert to the designated alternate, do an approach there and then hold for 45 minutes. Airlines don’t get points for stopping at a different airport to get fuel, see DL and their tech stops between JNB and ATL.

If that means that UA carries enough fuel to get to Kimberly, Walvis Bay, or Johannesburg- they probably do.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:52 am

I don’t argue with that analysis at all, never said I did. The OP certainly didn’t appear to be a US carrier, JNB-CPT.
 
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Balerit
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:38 am

George, GRJ or FAGG is an alternate especially for local aircraft.
Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (retired).
 
N1120A
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Re: CPT - Alternate/Diversion Airport Question

Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:44 am

Balerit wrote:
George, GRJ or FAGG is an alternate especially for local aircraft.


I doubt United wants to put a 787-9 into GRJ, with only 6500' of runway.
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