BRxxx
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Airports And Their Runways.

Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:42 pm

I realize that there are (correct me if I'm wrong) 5 or more runways in ORD and ATL. In this case it could be said that there are a lot of air traffic going in and out of the airport. What I don't get is how LHR manages to run the airport with only 2 runways and only dedicating one runway for takeoff and the other one for landing since they are not that far off the amount of air traffic going in and out of the airport. Doesn't it mean that if one runway has to be closed for whatever reason, it will disrupt the whole operation of the airport? Why doesn't LHR build a third runway earlier?
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EXAAUADL
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:53 pm

if a runway at LHR is closed, it is very very disrputive
 
mpdpilot
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:24 pm



Quoting BRxxx (Thread starter):
I realize that there are (correct me if I'm wrong) 5 or more runways in ORD and ATL. In this case it could be said that there are a lot of air traffic going in and out of the airport. What I don't get is how LHR manages to run the airport with only 2 runways and only dedicating one runway for takeoff and the other one for landing since they are not that far off the amount of air traffic going in and out of the airport. Doesn't it mean that if one runway has to be closed for whatever reason, it will disrupt the whole operation of the airport? Why doesn't LHR build a third runway earlier?

About building a runway I have heard that they have been trying for a very long time but have been met with very stiff opposition from the locals. Also it takes a large amount of planning to build a runway which takes time. As to the numbers, ATL and ORD, and any other US airport for that matter don't have nearly as much widebody traffic as LHR does. So they may carry about the same amount of people but on fewer flights.
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Viscount724
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:42 pm



Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 2):
As to the numbers, ATL and ORD, and any other US airport for that matter don't have nearly as much widebody traffic as LHR does.

LHR also has very few regional jets and as far as I know the only turboprops at LHR are 4 daily KLM Fokker 50s (2 each to Rotterdam and Eindhoven).
 
PanAm747
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:02 pm

In terms of international traffic, Atlanta and Chicago are one-airport only international cities. London has four (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton). While Heathrow is by far the busiest, the others pick up significant amounts of traffic.

One must also keep in mind that O'Hare and Atlanta both have HUGE amounts of local and long-distance domestic traffic that is being shifted to smaller and smaller planes. And with American hubs, you have "banks" of flights to funnel connecting traffic through. For LHR, one would imagine that this would be a much smaller number.

Also, LHR is a very long-range airport with many airlines having only one or two departures a day. In fact, it's not a stretch to say that the A380 was built with this airport in mind - how to increase the available number of seats out of LHR without having additional slots available? Fly in the biggest plane available!

SIDE NOTE: If someone had told me in the 1980's that most of American's LAX-ORD traffic would be on 737's, I would have thought them crazy - yet here we are, requiring FREQUENCIES that strain the airport, with an RJ requiring the same runway time as a trans-Oceanic 747.

In summary, my guess would be that while LHR handles roughly the same number of passengers as ORD or ATL, the number of overall movements would be significantly less, mainly due to larger planes (on average), fewer "banks" of flights, and less connecting passengers than ORD or ATL.
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Viscount724
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:18 pm



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 4):
In terms of international traffic, Atlanta and Chicago are one-airport only international cities. London has four (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton). While Heathrow is by far the busiest, the others pick up significant amounts of traffic.

I think you mean five, not four. You missed London City. Most LCY flights are international.
 
PanAm747
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:20 pm



Quote:
I think you mean five, not four. You missed London City. Most LCY flights are international.

DANG!! I knew I missed one...I kept trying to think OUTWARD of the city rather than inward...Thanks!!
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PlymSpotter
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:38 am

Unfortunately the UK planning system is full of long and laborious public consultation processes. Nothing happens quickly; too many people are allowed to get in the way (NIMBYs - Not In My Back Yards) and derail often essential projects. No doubt when the Third runway gets underway there will be encampments of environmental protesters dug into the ground in tunnels, and sitting in trees. They have a fair point in many cases, where there are other feasible options, but LHR has run out of other options - it needs another runway ASAP.


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Cubsrule
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:14 am



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 4):
And with American hubs, you have "banks" of flights to funnel connecting traffic through. For LHR, one would imagine that this would be a much smaller number.

Be careful with this assertion; DL no longer has banks at ATL (because the banks were causing too much congestion), and AA is not banked at ORD either.

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 4):
SIDE NOTE: If someone had told me in the 1980's that most of American's LAX-ORD traffic would be on 737's, I

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FRNT787
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:38 am



Quoting BRxxx (Thread starter):
5 or more runways in ORD and ATL.

DFW has 7 runways and is the 3rd busiest in the world in terms of passengers (last I checked). Despite the large number of passengers I have not sat in a line at DFW (my home airport) in a long time.

On the subject of airports limited by runways, how about SNA with the one for commercial traffic (I frequent this lovely airport as well quite often). If anything happeded there they would have no flights in or out (at least no airline flights).
 
oakjam
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:55 am

Actually doesn't Chicago-MDW offer flights to Mexico making it another Int'l Airport? I believe MX and ATA fly to Mexico from MDW.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:56 am



Quoting Oakjam (Reply 10):
Actually doesn't Chicago-MDW offer flights to Mexico making it another Int'l Airport? I believe MX and ATA fly to Mexico from MDW.

TZ is the only scheduled carrier to fly MDW-Mexico, though I think there's an F9 charter to CUN that still runs semi-regularly. I feel like the last time I saw it was on a Tuesday, but that may not be right...
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Zkpilot
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:20 am



Quoting BRxxx (Thread starter):
What I don't get is how LHR manages to run the airport with only 2 runways and only dedicating one runway for takeoff and the other one for landing since they are not that far off the amount of air traffic going in and out of the airport.

It does have its advantages... aircraft can all line up more tightly on approach as they don't have to wait for departing aircraft and ATC doesn't have as hard a job fitting them into two side-by-side approach paths. Departing aircraft all line up on the taxiway and then get clearances almost straight away to depart behind the previous aircraft.
Downsides are however when a 737 is departing behind a 747... waketurbulence separation is required reducing the runways hourly capacity.
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mark5388916
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:21 am



Quoting FRNT787 (Reply 9):
how about SNA with the one for commercial traffic

Gatwick I believe has a similar problem.
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ncelhr
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:48 pm



Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 12):
It does have its advantages... aircraft can all line up more tightly on approach as they don't have to wait for departing aircraft and ATC doesn't have as hard a job fitting them into two side-by-side approach paths. Departing aircraft all line up on the taxiway and then get clearances almost straight away to depart behind the previous aircraft.
Downsides are however when a 737 is departing behind a 747... waketurbulence separation is required reducing the runways hourly capacity.

Actually, this would work well, should there be an equal amount of take-offs and landings at any one time.

In LHR, it is indeed correct that most of the time one runway is dedicated to landings and one runway to take-offs, but with the following rules/expections:

- the runways switch twice a day in order to give a break to the residents under the flight paths. ie. the take-off runway becomes a landing runway and the landing runway becomes a take-off runway.
- on the busiest periods, the runways can operate in mixed mode. This is particularly the case when there is a large take-off backlog, and both runways can be used simultaneously for take-offs, provided there is a break in the arrivals pattern.

With such a tight schedule, any runway incident causes huge delays. A MISAP (missed approach aka go around) - something which happens more often than you think, may upset the clockwork and cause delays not only for the aircraft having to go around but also to others.

Really, the system, as it is today, is bursting at the seams. It is a miracle that it works.

LGW also in same position regarding traffic on one runway.
 
LHR27C
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Fri Nov 23, 2007 12:20 am



Quoting Ncelhr (Reply 14):
- on the busiest periods, the runways can operate in mixed mode. This is particularly the case when there is a large take-off backlog, and both runways can be used simultaneously for take-offs, provided there is a break in the arrivals pattern.

Only in the early morning till 7am, unless some kind of incident has occurred. They can't just switch to mixed mode because it happens to be a busy period - or they'd be doing it all the time! There are proposals in the short term to move to mixed mode as it would allow a small increase in traffic but even that requires a huge amount of ATC planning and changing procedures.
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CosmicCruiser
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RE: Airports And Their Runways.

Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:50 pm

I was just in STN and according to The Daily Mail 4 of the top 10 European airports with the largest % of delays were the London airports.

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