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canyonblue17
Topic Author
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Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:46 pm

It seems like a simple solution to what probably causes a whole lot of pilots a whole lot of stress when it comes to landing aircraft. Why not give them more room for error. I understand in some situations its a space issue. But even a few feet one way or the other might be the difference of an aircraft unintentionally leaving the concrete. My 2 cents.
 
FlyHossD
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:52 pm

canyonblue17 wrote:
It seems like a simple solution to what probably causes a whole lot of pilots a whole lot of stress when it comes to landing aircraft. Why not give them more room for error. I understand in some situations its a space issue. But even a few feet one way or the other might be the difference of an aircraft unintentionally leaving the concrete. My 2 cents.


Why increase the cost more than is necessary?

Land on the centerline every time and that practice becomes habit.
 
zuckie13
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:54 pm

So often, the excursions are due to loss of traction issues - like very wet runways - or due to poorly maintained runways. Making the wider does not really solve either of those. Spending the money on more maintenance or grooved runways may be the better option.
 
canyonblue17
Topic Author
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:59 pm

The problem with landing on the centerline all the time is that Mother Nature has a habit of making that challenging. I'm just suggesting making that challenge a little easier. Is the cost to expand the runways more expensive than the cost of losing an aircraft?
 
JoseSalazar
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 2:14 pm

canyonblue17 wrote:
The problem with landing on the centerline all the time is that Mother Nature has a habit of making that challenging. I'm just suggesting making that challenge a little easier. Is the cost to expand the runways more expensive than the cost of losing an aircraft?


Even with gusty crosswinds at the limit, I’ve never found that hitting the centerline was a big deal or a challenge. Most airliners land on 150 ft wide runways. Even the 100 footers (rwy 32 in BOS, MVY, maybe a few others) aren’t an issue. I’ve also never known of any hull loss that would have been mitigated by a wider runway, so to answer your question, the cost of expanding all runways would far exceed the cost of the hulls lost or damage caused by lateral runway excursions in my opinion. There are times I’d like to have more runway in front of me, or possibly wider taxiways driving around in some tight areas, but I have never found myself wishing I had more runway to the side of me. My $.02
 
Someone83
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 2:18 pm

canyonblue17 wrote:
Is the cost to expand the runways more expensive than the cost of losing an aircraft?


The simple answer there is yes...
 
TW870
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:05 pm

Someone83 wrote:
canyonblue17 wrote:
Is the cost to expand the runways more expensive than the cost of losing an aircraft?


The simple answer there is yes...


A way to think about it is that demand for aviation rises with real estate costs. Some of the most expensive real estate in the world is in places that also have huge airports and robust demand for more flying - New York, London, and the list goes on. Adding more space for airport ops is extremely expensive in all of these places because of the cost of land where the airport lies. Therefore, if they widened runways, you would have to take capacity out of the airport somewhere else. Sure, you could widen 13-31 at LGA by 50 feet, but you'd have to pull that 50 feet out of the taxiways, which is going to put taxiing aircraft closer together and more likely to have incidents on the ground. Land is so expensive that you simply cannot build deeper into Queens to expand the size of the airport.

Finally, as others have said, I cannot think of any aviation accident where the width of the runway was the determining factor in the accident.
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:15 pm

canyonblue17 wrote:
The problem with landing on the centerline all the time is that Mother Nature has a habit of making that challenging. I'm just suggesting making that challenge a little easier. Is the cost to expand the runways more expensive than the cost of losing an aircraft?


It is not a challenge to land on centerline. You don’t have to drop the nose directly on it but as long as it is between the mains you are fine. That’s ALOT of slop. If you can’t put the centerline between the mains then you shouldn’t be a Pilot and should never have the responsibility of others lives in your hands.
 
Flow2706
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:25 pm

What runway width would you consider sufficient? 60m? 90m? 120m? Everything in life is a compromise. It is clear that every increase in runway width increases costs. The safety benefit is rather negligible. You could probably argue the same thing about roads.
The most critical thing about narrow runways is a low speed engine failure during takeoff. When we did narrow runway (30m/100ft) training in the simulator a low speed engine failure was a common exercise. Just after applying takeoff thrust (at 15-20kts) the instructor would fail an engine. As the rudder is not yet effective at very low speeds, this situation requires prompt action (immediately close the thrust lever of the operating engine and apply full rudder, differential brakes as needed and possibly a good bit of tiller as well) to keep the aircraft on the runway. However on a 45m Runway it's not critical. Landings, even in maximum crosswind, are not that much of a challenge if the pilot is adequately trained.
 
CATIIIevery5yrs
Posts: 220
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:32 pm

We could just go back to giant circle landing surfaces.
 
oschkosch
Posts: 695
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 3:53 pm

Maybe a big triangular type of runway would help? Planes with different specs could land at the same time and wind gusts wouldn't be an issue as you can never run out of runway.

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VMCA787
Posts: 262
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 8:29 pm

canyonblue17 wrote:
The problem with landing on the centerline all the time is that Mother Nature has a habit of making that challenging. I'm just suggesting making that challenge a little easier. Is the cost to expand the runways more expensive than the cost of losing an aircraft?


Just where would it end. Right now the emphasis is to land on the centerline, if your proposal was adopted would it be the centerline +/- 10 feet/20 feet? If that is good enough how about approach speed +/- 10 knots? What would you do if you had to divert to a runway which was not expanded? Flying an aircraft is about striving towards precision. From the first time I set foot in a Cessna 150, till not, the aim is to do it by the book. Aim for the centerline.......Sorry, I don't agree.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:09 pm

CATIIIevery5yrs wrote:
We could just go back to giant circle landing surfaces.

You mean a disk 4km in diameter, covered entirely in concrete? Or just a circular 45m wide runway, like a halo?
 
CATIIIevery5yrs
Posts: 220
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:33 pm

mxaxai wrote:
CATIIIevery5yrs wrote:
We could just go back to giant circle landing surfaces.

You mean a disk 4km in diameter, covered entirely in concrete? Or just a circular 45m wide runway, like a halo?


A disk 4km in diameter, covered entirely in concrete.
 
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zeke
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:16 am

CATIIIevery5yrs wrote:
We could just go back to giant circle landing surfaces.


Or conveyor belts
 
acecrackshot
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:15 am

canyonblue17 wrote:
The problem with landing on the centerline all the time is that Mother Nature has a habit of making that challenging. I'm just suggesting making that challenge a little easier. Is the cost to expand the runways more expensive than the cost of losing an aircraft?


There are spacing requirements for taxiways and other airport structures like antennas.

"Challenge" is a bit of a loaded term. I've never run out of rudder while landing. Of course, I operate within the limitations of the aircraft or I go around.

For non-US airports to which I operate, I'm far more concerned generally speaking with poorly maintained surfaces, non-grooved runways, poorly signed runways/taxiways and the like than narrow ones, generally speaking. Lots of places love to build a beautiful terminal while having poorly drained and spalling asphalt operating surfaces.
 
e38
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:54 am

canyonblue17 wrote:
But even a few feet one way or the other might be the difference of an aircraft unintentionally leaving the concrete.


It’s called “optimization.”

So, canyonblue17, what width of runway would you recommend as being the minimum width or standard width for safe aircraft operations?

For many airports, a standard width seems to be 150 feet / 45 meters; occasionally 200 feet / 60 meters. You could probably refer to this as an “optimum” width for normal operations.

What do you propose?

e38
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:46 am

acecrackshot wrote:
canyonblue17 wrote:
The problem with landing on the centerline all the time is that Mother Nature has a habit of making that challenging. I'm just suggesting making that challenge a little easier. Is the cost to expand the runways more expensive than the cost of losing an aircraft?


There are spacing requirements for taxiways and other airport structures like antennas.

"Challenge" is a bit of a loaded term. I've never run out of rudder while landing. Of course, I operate within the limitations of the aircraft or I go around.

For non-US airports to which I operate, I'm far more concerned generally speaking with poorly maintained surfaces, non-grooved runways, poorly signed runways/taxiways and the like than narrow ones, generally speaking. Lots of places love to build a beautiful terminal while having poorly drained and spalling asphalt operating surfaces.


This. Exactly this. Poor signage, potholes, poor lighting, "fillets" of gravel/grass at intersections, and poor markings are much more of a threat than the challenge of plonking a widebody on a 45m runway in a crosswind.

Why many runways in places that receive regular tropical downpours are non-grooved is beyond me, but here we are. :D
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:44 pm

VMCA787 wrote:

Just where would it end. Right now the emphasis is to land on the centerline, if your proposal was adopted would it be the centerline +/- 10 feet/20 feet? If that is good enough how about approach speed +/- 10 knots? What would you do if you had to divert to a runway which was not expanded? Flying an aircraft is about striving towards precision. From the first time I set foot in a Cessna 150, till not, the aim is to do it by the book. Aim for the centerline.......Sorry, I don't agree.


https://twitter.com/abca1945/status/721 ... 08289?s=21

canyonblue17 wrote:
The problem with landing on the centerline all the time is that Mother Nature has a habit of making that challenging. I'm just suggesting making that challenge a little easier. Is the cost to expand the runways more expensive than the cost of losing an aircraft?


Yes, but that doesn’t matter. The cost of a wider runway is incurred by the operator of the runway, and that cost may be passed on to the airlines via landing and operating fees. The cost of an airliner is borne by the airline, or its insurance company. I submit that it’s more efficient and less expensive to the airline to keep its pilots trained, and its aircraft maintained, to level that allows the aircraft to land on the centerline, every time.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:54 pm

And you're expected to have control of your jet
 
e38
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:00 pm

acecrackshot wrote:

For non-US airports to which I operate, I'm far more concerned generally speaking with poorly maintained surfaces . . .


and at some U. S. airports, as well!

Chicago–O’Hare; Detroit come to mind . . .

e38
 
oschkosch
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:46 pm

CATIIIevery5yrs wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
CATIIIevery5yrs wrote:
We could just go back to giant circle landing surfaces.

You mean a disk 4km in diameter, covered entirely in concrete? Or just a circular 45m wide runway, like a halo?


A disk 4km in diameter, covered entirely in concrete.
A triangle would definitely save space! :)

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Aeroflot001
Posts: 373
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:21 pm

The brand new runway which opened at AEP (Buenos Aires's central airport) was widened from 40 meters to 60 meters. (130 fee to 197 feet) - (in addition to being lengthened).
 
N965UW
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:28 pm

It's worth repeating this joke here:

A plane lands with maximum brakes and screeches to a halt with just feet to spare. With a sigh of relief, the captain says that was the shortest landing he's ever done. The first officer looks out the window and says "this runway is really short, but it sure is wide!" :D
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:01 pm

Funny, but true, several ex-SAC runways have been narrowed from 300’ to 150’. Pease comes to mind because it’s nearby. The old SAC runways were that wide for the outriggers on B-52s.
 
acecrackshot
Posts: 215
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:20 am

e38 wrote:
acecrackshot wrote:

For non-US airports to which I operate, I'm far more concerned generally speaking with poorly maintained surfaces . . .


and at some U. S. airports, as well!

Chicago–O’Hare; Detroit come to mind . . .

e38


DTW is better than it was...ORD still has that annoying divot on B between Terminal 5 and the Spirit gates.
 
Woodreau
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:48 am

Chicago built its taxiways using cobblestones.
 
LucaDiMontanari
Posts: 77
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:53 pm

canyonblue17 wrote:
It seems like a simple solution to what probably causes a whole lot of pilots a whole lot of stress when it comes to landing aircraft.


Ehm, no, never felt stressed about runway widths at all and also never heard another pilot complaining about. In fact, isn't it actually the contrary? Don't steal our challenges, we need to tell our beloved hero-tales at the airport restaurant 8-) Wider runways will most likely just lower the standards, which proofed to be a stupid idea since the beginning of mankind. Aim for the centerline, don't even think about what's right or left of it. Sure, your main gear should fit, but this you should have checked in advance of the flight. But at all not really an issue until you want to land a 747 on JoBurg's Rand Airport...
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Why not wider runways?

Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:22 pm

I used to do touch and goes on a 7,000’ x 150’ runway all afternoon in a C-5. Not an issue except for the guys would try to be smooth on the touchdown.
 
stratclub
Posts: 1382
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:36 am

N965UW wrote:
It's worth repeating this joke here:

A plane lands with maximum brakes and screeches to a halt with just feet to spare. With a sigh of relief, the captain says that was the shortest landing he's ever done. The first officer looks out the window and says "this runway is really short, but it sure is wide!" :D

You beat me to it. 200 feet long and 10.000 ft wide.
 
meecrob
Posts: 354
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Re: Why not wider runways?

Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:05 pm

I'd say if they could land on the runway in UAL232, if a pilot literally misses the runway, its pilot proficiency, not runway width.
 
Woodreau
Posts: 2172
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

Re: Why not wider runways?

Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:53 pm

Is this runway wide enough?

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