Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
Sdmccray1984
Topic Author
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:07 am

Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:24 am

Pre-covid, many airports were operating well over capacity, with unprecedented numbers of ground movements. And historically, some airports were known for high numbers of ground “incidents.” JFK has seen several ”clipping” incidents between large aircraft(partially due to narrow, single-isle alleys between terminals). Which airports have the tightest gate space and/or narrow alleys given the number of operations?
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20034
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:51 am

I don't know if I'd call it the "tightest", but Ho Chi Minh Tan Son Nhat (SGN) is fairly busy, and it has some narrow taxiways turns, plus the international terminal apron is rather cramped.

Of note is the entry to 25L, which is typically used for departures. From the hold point entering the runway, there's a little wedge where the taxiway edge "cuts in", making the entry narrower just when your instinct would be to square the turn a bit in order to maximise takeoff run distance. But if you square the turn too much, you risk putting the right mains over the edge line, going onto a weaker surface and potentially clipping some edge lights. This is especially a hazard at night. You can see it on Google Maps here. https://goo.gl/maps/idUfHaCnDRarFp7J6

Just one of things that make every day at work different and interesting. :)
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
alasizon
Posts: 2598
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:32 am

A lot of SE Asian airports have challenging operations for the gauge of flying they see.

There are also considerations like physical gate space that effect some airports with particularly dense concourses. The less space you have for GSE, the more likely "something" will happen.
Airport (noun) - A construction site which airplanes tend to frequent
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 6085
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:34 am

Starlionblue wrote:
I don't know if I'd call it the "tightest", but Ho Chi Minh Tan Son Nhat (SGN) is fairly busy, and it has some narrow taxiways turns, plus the international terminal apron is rather cramped.

Of note is the entry to 25L, which is typically used for departures. From the hold point entering the runway, there's a little wedge where the taxiway edge "cuts in", making the entry narrower just when your instinct would be to square the turn a bit in order to maximise takeoff run distance. But if you square the turn too much, you risk putting the right mains over the edge line, going onto a weaker surface and potentially clipping some edge lights. This is especially a hazard at night. You can see it on Google Maps here. https://goo.gl/maps/idUfHaCnDRarFp7J6

Just one of things that make every day at work different and interesting. :)


The one time I was there, it was hilarious that the old alert revetments were still in place from the was.
 
shamrock137
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 7:10 am

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:12 am

I always thought Boston (KBOS) was a bit of a mess. Crazy runway configurations, multiple alleyways with one way in and one way out, and lots of runways to cross while taxiing. In the summer peak it would be normal for the tower to have aircraft landing on 27, 33L, 32, 33R for all the small commuter planes, and departing on 27 and 33L. Terminal E has no airline owned gates, airlines can be assigned any gate or sometimes hard stands, with the hard stand spots and buses being expected to share space with the GA terminal and the cargo ops. In the winter deicing is done on the gates, in the alleyways or on the J Pad parking area, meaning if you need to deice on the J pad, but depart 22R, you need to go opposite all the aircraft trying to come down to the J Pad.

Image
Time to spare? Go by air!
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20034
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:23 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
I don't know if I'd call it the "tightest", but Ho Chi Minh Tan Son Nhat (SGN) is fairly busy, and it has some narrow taxiways turns, plus the international terminal apron is rather cramped.

Of note is the entry to 25L, which is typically used for departures. From the hold point entering the runway, there's a little wedge where the taxiway edge "cuts in", making the entry narrower just when your instinct would be to square the turn a bit in order to maximise takeoff run distance. But if you square the turn too much, you risk putting the right mains over the edge line, going onto a weaker surface and potentially clipping some edge lights. This is especially a hazard at night. You can see it on Google Maps here. https://goo.gl/maps/idUfHaCnDRarFp7J6

Just one of things that make every day at work different and interesting. :)


The one time I was there, it was hilarious that the old alert revetments were still in place from the was.


They're still they're now, or at least the foundations. You can see the outlines north of the apron here https://goo.gl/maps/NDvKNv3ZcM2nhVnr9.

Same at Dan Nang (DAD). :D
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
mchei
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:20 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:33 am

London City, LCY, is like the local Ikea on a Saturday.
F70-F100-E145-E170-E190-319-320-321-735–736-737-738-752-763–742-744-333-343-ATR72-Metroliner-Saab2000-Lockheed Electra-C172-C182-C182RG-MD11
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4475
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:54 am

Many UK airports, like Gatwick, Luton, Manchester and Aberdeen. Old airports that weren't sufficiently expanded before the city encroached on them.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20034
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:07 am

VSMUT wrote:
Many UK airports, like Gatwick, Luton, Manchester and Aberdeen. Old airports that weren't sufficiently expanded before the city encroached on them.


Ah yes...

Manchester. Only one way in and one way out of the apron.

Dublin, with the takeoff runway between you and the apron, and so you wait after arrival. And wait... (Yes, I know Dublin is not in the UK...)

To be fair these are not really "challenging" so much as "tedious". :shock:
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4475
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:08 am

Starlionblue wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Many UK airports, like Gatwick, Luton, Manchester and Aberdeen. Old airports that weren't sufficiently expanded before the city encroached on them.


Ah yes...

Manchester. Only one way in and one way out of the apron.

Dublin, with the takeoff runway between you and the apron, and so you wait after arrival. And wait... (Yes, I know Dublin is not in the UK...)

To be fair these are not really "challenging" so much as "tedious". :shock:


Indeed, especially when you start comparing UK and Irish airports with their mainland competition. You look at Paris CDG and think, boy this is tricky, but then you try it and it really isn't bad. There are really only a few major taxiways throughout the airfield, which for ATC purposes has even been split in half. You can get from one of the furthest corners of the airport to the runway with just 2 short taxi instructions and a frequency change.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20034
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:12 am

VSMUT wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Many UK airports, like Gatwick, Luton, Manchester and Aberdeen. Old airports that weren't sufficiently expanded before the city encroached on them.


Ah yes...

Manchester. Only one way in and one way out of the apron.

Dublin, with the takeoff runway between you and the apron, and so you wait after arrival. And wait... (Yes, I know Dublin is not in the UK...)

To be fair these are not really "challenging" so much as "tedious". :shock:


Indeed, especially when you start comparing UK and Irish airports with their mainland competition. You look at Paris CDG and think, boy this is tricky, but then you try it and it really isn't bad. There are really only a few major taxiways throughout the airfield, which for ATC purposes has even been split in half. You can get from one of the furthest corners of the airport to the runway with just 2 short taxi instructions and a frequency change.


:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:

At least in Dublin you watch all the rabbits running around for some light entertainment while you wait in a jet-lagged daze for all the narrowbodies launching at dawn to sort themselves out of the alley where you will eventually park... ;)
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Woodreau
Posts: 1924
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:58 am

I would have to say Aspen has some pretty crazy ground ops during holiday weekends

Or Burbank.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4475
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:30 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:

Ah yes...

Manchester. Only one way in and one way out of the apron.

Dublin, with the takeoff runway between you and the apron, and so you wait after arrival. And wait... (Yes, I know Dublin is not in the UK...)

To be fair these are not really "challenging" so much as "tedious". :shock:


Indeed, especially when you start comparing UK and Irish airports with their mainland competition. You look at Paris CDG and think, boy this is tricky, but then you try it and it really isn't bad. There are really only a few major taxiways throughout the airfield, which for ATC purposes has even been split in half. You can get from one of the furthest corners of the airport to the runway with just 2 short taxi instructions and a frequency change.


:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:

At least in Dublin you watch all the rabbits running around for some light entertainment while you wait in a jet-lagged daze for all the narrowbodies launching at dawn to sort themselves out of the alley where you will eventually park... ;)


Out of curiousity, what part of Dublin is that?
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20034
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:48 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
VSMUT wrote:

Indeed, especially when you start comparing UK and Irish airports with their mainland competition. You look at Paris CDG and think, boy this is tricky, but then you try it and it really isn't bad. There are really only a few major taxiways throughout the airfield, which for ATC purposes has even been split in half. You can get from one of the furthest corners of the airport to the runway with just 2 short taxi instructions and a frequency change.


:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:

At least in Dublin you watch all the rabbits running around for some light entertainment while you wait in a jet-lagged daze for all the narrowbodies launching at dawn to sort themselves out of the alley where you will eventually park... ;)


Out of curiousity, what part of Dublin is that?


Holding on W1 waiting to cross 16/34 in the wee hours of the morning while aircraft are departing on 34 and lots of traffic is taxiing around Piers 2-4.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4475
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:11 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:

:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:

At least in Dublin you watch all the rabbits running around for some light entertainment while you wait in a jet-lagged daze for all the narrowbodies launching at dawn to sort themselves out of the alley where you will eventually park... ;)


Out of curiousity, what part of Dublin is that?


Holding on W1 waiting to cross 16/34 in the wee hours of the morning while aircraft are departing on 34 and lots of traffic is taxiing around Piers 2-4.


Ohhh, I see how that can be a challenge.

On another note, de-icing seems to be an afterthought at many airports. Even in Copenhagen it isn't laid out too well.
 
airforceone
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:47 am

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:46 am

SEA when the 34’s are active. We use to park at the south terminal in the alleyway between the south satellite terminal and the south main terminal. When those gates got closed down for construction we moved to the south cargo apron which is west of the Alaska hangars. It’s common to be number 20 or 30 for takeoff and when the 34’s are active, that lineup goes well past the terminals. One night we got stuck in the alleyway going around the south satellite terminal. It took us 45 min just to reach the gate. When we came back around to the south cargo apron the ground controller started giving us our departure sequence. We had to tell ATC we were still an inbound as we had not parked yet but we had been stuck in the alleyway for so long he thought we were an outbound. SEA airport itself is not challenging but it can be tedious when ATC says follow the Alaskan 737 when there is about 20 of them taxing at a given time.
 
User avatar
WesternDC6B
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:05 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:04 pm

I’m not a commercial pilot, so this is just an observation from a passenger’s perspective. Madrid seems to have taxiways that go on forever, and there seemed to have been a lot of turns. I was on a business trip, ultimately headed for Seville and Rota. I remarked to my seatmate that I thought we were going to taxi all the way to Seville!
“Pedantic” defined: spelling “pedantic” “pædantic”.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20034
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:09 pm

WesternDC6B wrote:
I’m not a commercial pilot, so this is just an observation from a passenger’s perspective. Madrid seems to have taxiways that go on forever, and there seemed to have been a lot of turns. I was on a business trip, ultimately headed for Seville and Rota. I remarked to my seatmate that I thought we were going to taxi all the way to Seville!


Madrid can have long taxi times because of its somewhat unusual layout. The runways all radiate out from the terminals in the middle. And once you get to the terminals they have a one-way "roundabout" system.

https://goo.gl/maps/S1oope3thDNkBK6PA
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27169
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:18 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
I don't know if I'd call it the "tightest", but Ho Chi Minh Tan Son Nhat (SGN) is fairly busy, and it has some narrow taxiways turns, plus the international terminal apron is rather cramped.

Of note is the entry to 25L, which is typically used for departures. From the hold point entering the runway, there's a little wedge where the taxiway edge "cuts in", making the entry narrower just when your instinct would be to square the turn a bit in order to maximise takeoff run distance. But if you square the turn too much, you risk putting the right mains over the edge line, going onto a weaker surface and potentially clipping some edge lights. This is especially a hazard at night. You can see it on Google Maps here. https://goo.gl/maps/idUfHaCnDRarFp7J6

Just one of things that make every day at work different and interesting. :)


How are the croissants at HyN's Kitchen? Do they just pass the bags through the cockpit window via a long pole with a hook at the end as you taxi by?

Image
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20034
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:37 am

Stitch wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
I don't know if I'd call it the "tightest", but Ho Chi Minh Tan Son Nhat (SGN) is fairly busy, and it has some narrow taxiways turns, plus the international terminal apron is rather cramped.

Of note is the entry to 25L, which is typically used for departures. From the hold point entering the runway, there's a little wedge where the taxiway edge "cuts in", making the entry narrower just when your instinct would be to square the turn a bit in order to maximise takeoff run distance. But if you square the turn too much, you risk putting the right mains over the edge line, going onto a weaker surface and potentially clipping some edge lights. This is especially a hazard at night. You can see it on Google Maps here. https://goo.gl/maps/idUfHaCnDRarFp7J6

Just one of things that make every day at work different and interesting. :)


How are the croissants at HyN's Kitchen? Do they just pass the bags through the cockpit window via a long pole with a hook at the end as you taxi by?

Image


Sadly no, but that would be awesome. :D

(Just to be clear, that's a Google Maps glitch.)
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
FGITD
Posts: 968
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:09 pm

shamrock137 wrote:
I always thought Boston (KBOS) was a bit of a mess. Crazy runway configurations, multiple alleyways with one way in and one way out, and lots of runways to cross while taxiing. In the summer peak it would be normal for the tower to have aircraft landing on 27, 33L, 32, 33R for all the small commuter planes, and departing on 27 and 33L. Terminal E has no airline owned gates, airlines can be assigned any gate or sometimes hard stands, with the hard stand spots and buses being expected to share space with the GA terminal and the cargo ops. In the winter deicing is done on the gates, in the alleyways or on the J Pad parking area, meaning if you need to deice on the J pad, but depart 22R, you need to go opposite all the aircraft trying to come down to the J Pad.



There's also the fun of international arrivals that have to be towed to north cargo, then towed back. Always interesting to tell the crew of a diversion that the next available gate won't be for 5 to 6 hours, and there won't be a loader team to offload the flight until the next morning.

One thing on the J pad though, 14/32 is sometimes used as an exit after deicing. International deicing is still its own whole complication.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8438
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:20 pm

Haven’t been there in years but LGA was always tight
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
e38
Posts: 720
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:43 am

Max Q, reference your comment about LaGuardia . . .

yes, it still is.

e38
 
Tankdiver
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:07 am

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:48 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
I don't know if I'd call it the "tightest", but Ho Chi Minh Tan Son Nhat (SGN) is fairly busy, and it has some narrow taxiways turns, plus the international terminal apron is rather cramped.

Of note is the entry to 25L, which is typically used for departures. From the hold point entering the runway, there's a little wedge where the taxiway edge "cuts in", making the entry narrower just when your instinct would be to square the turn a bit in order to maximise takeoff run distance. But if you square the turn too much, you risk putting the right mains over the edge line, going onto a weaker surface and potentially clipping some edge lights. This is especially a hazard at night. You can see it on Google Maps here. https://goo.gl/maps/idUfHaCnDRarFp7J6

Just one of things that make every day at work different and interesting. :)



I know the exactly the hold point you are talking about....I took these when I was there. The airport looks like a bald spot in a jungle.
Image

It does however makes for a very good spotting location. You'll find more than a dozen rooftop cafes around this area. Some of these cafes are built so high, you can literally see passengers looking at you from their windows.
Image

Image

Image
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20034
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: Airports with the most challenging ground operations

Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:59 am

Great pics!

You can see the spot in question in the pics with the Vietnam Airlines ATR and the 787 about to line up. Look how close the right main on the 787 will be to the grass and the threshold lights.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: FLALEFTY and 19 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

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