Lots of flights through to the continent with Flybe and many passengers connecting through from domestic flights, yet the poor passengers have to go all the way through the terminal and back through security queues again!!
No transfer gate!!! Why??
Good old Southampton, regional limited thinking and planning as always!!
It won't come anytime soon but I think what Southampton really needs is a new, larger terminal or failing that, a full second floor plus extension for the existing one, although that would probably be quite difficult going by the shape of the current terminal. That way a proper connections route can be set up, arrivals can be expanded with more space and desks to save people waiting outside. More checking desks could be added, possibly with some upstairs and there could be an additional security lane upstairs along with a couple more shops and more cafe space and general seats!
I say this because quite often the existing terminal gets very full especially when lots of flights are going out quite close to each other, i.e. early mornings and weekends when all of the holiday-based flights operate. Also, an upstairs departure lounge would enable a few more gates to be made possibly even with airbridges for stands 2,3 and 4. Obviously such an upgrade would only be worth doing if the additional taxiways further up the runway were added, along with more stands for larger/taller aircraft.
Finally, on a more realistic note, BAA could use the old station carpark as an additional short-stay option and this may even allow them to reposition and lengthen northwards the multi-story, bringing more spaces and leaving me room for larger/longer stands in the northen area resolving the height issues for aircraft such as the E-jets.
But, like I said at the start of the post, I can't see any of this happening too soon!
Take a look on google maps and have a look at the geography of the airport. An extended taxi way is not as simple as laying down an extra 900m of asphalt. You would need to move the existing fuel farm for starters to get an extension to the North. This would involve moving pipes and tanks and all sorts of other infrastructure. You would also need to move the existing ILS equipment to the opposite side of the runway. Whilst all of this is happening you would need to provide contingency for loss of these services again costing money. All of a sudden a few million turns into tens of millions. Who would pay for that? Pax certainly won't due to the government already piling on good ol APD and all the other taxes.
The alternative is to build an extended taxiway on the other side... You then introduce a risk of an extra runway crossing which means more risk of runway incursions with more risk of accidents...
Cambridge and London CIty require a backtrack along with a few other airports in this country.
Ideas of new terminals and extended runways etc are great ideas but you need high pax numbers to justify the massive cost involved. BAA is a large company and profitable but everyone seems to forget that the investment money ultimately comes from the customer... If pax numbers are low you either make the best of what you have or you raise the cost to the consumer and face losing them... Regardless of whether or not BAA have sold Edinburgh and about to inherit millions from its sale, each airport is in control of its own budget and raising its own profits so it's not as simple as sharing the sale money.
destinationsky - a fair point regarding a full length taxiways although I was thinking more along the lines of the one detailed in the master plan, which was positioned around halfway between the existing one and the end of the runway, presumably to avoid the stated issues and costs. It would also only require ~100m of tarmac so should not cost too much and would greatly reduced the problems with backtracking and holding at busier times.
As Adfly has pointed out the masterplan on Southampton's site seems to suggest that a full length taxi way could be built without the movement of any other infrustructure. At the moment there is only one way on and off the runway . 100m of tarmac at the end of the stands would save countlless time over the course of a day.
You are right with your assumption on LCY but then reclaiming land from the sea is just about the most expensive thing you can do. Plus cambrige is hardly getting the few hundred rotations a day that Sou is getting in all due respect.
The fact that Sou's main source of business by a country mile is investing in aircraft that can only be accomoated on 4 of Sou's stands tells me that the issue needs to be adressed.
You're certainly right that a 2nd terminal is pie in the sky though!
Last edited by Rivet Joint; 24th May 2012 at 19:51.
Regular deals being held on stand while the aircraft on several mile final comes in to land, and then taxis in to stand. Seems also regular for only one, maybe a max of two aircraft allowed to push or taxi at any time. Me thinks SOU has reached capacity and air traffic being ultra cautious and the new push back points only slows it all down more!!
A quick look at the departures today shows basically every flight leaving late (as with most days (especally with Flybe!)), I know its been mentioned over and over but the extra taxiway/runway entrance/exit would also sort this out, as there is comfortably room for 4 or 5 aircraft to wait to depart from Runway 20 or after arriving on 02 to wait for a stand without blocking any of the stands. This should not be a problem up the other end as there is already room for around 4 aircraft to wait without getting in the way.
Phase 2 of BAA's masterplan as detailed in your post hasn't been swung into action yet - currently theres only 3 shops, 2 of which are Whsmiths and the other which is Duty Free!! However knowing BAA they will probably build about 20 more shops over stands 1-5 soon!!!
Dijon has been coming up on the live flight info ever since most of the peak summer routes started, at the same times as last year but it is always shown as cancelled, which probably means thats its been loaded onto the schedule as operating but Eastern must've decided to cancel it at the last minute presumably just before it could be loaded into their booking engine. Or somebody has just forgotten about it!
It does seem unusual for Eastern to not be operating it this year though as it apparently did well last year with loads mostly in the 20's (On a J41), plus it was extended and Eastern also said that the route would return for this year in April!
Looks like the chances of KLM operating there own flights from SOU has gone down the drain, but a partnership with Flybe is quite a logical option and will hopefully boost the AMS route from SOU, I already notice for the winter the early morning flight is now an E195!
Local and corporate BAA management have a history of missed opportunities. Firstly when the original airport site was being sold off it was done so in three packages, the current airport site, the area including the Post Office Building/Premier Inn etc and the northeast corner where the VOR is sited. They dismissed the Post Office building area as too expensive-where better to extend the current Terminal and apron, not build a remotely sited new one. Second time around they bought the northeast corner-compare the cost of a new Terminal there (especially duplication of services) and the logistics of transferring passengers between terminals. It will need either be a costly tunnel around the north runway end-caution for the water table and the natural gas main, or a road with traffic lights due to proximity of the runway.
During the time that the runway was being re-surfaced, with the asphalt plant on site a figure of £40K was mentioned to add the missing taxiway link at the north end of TWY "A" to intersect the runway about 400 metres south of 20 threshold. Not ideal but would have minimised the backtrack on 20, permitted most landing traffic on 02 to vacate without backtracking, remove the log-jam around TWY "B" permitting pushbacks from Stands 7-9 with traffic at the 20 hold, and permitting arrivals to get onto Stands 7-12. The good folks in ATC (run at the time by BAA) pleaded and pleaded to go ahead, money spent on other cosmetic projects in the terminal building.
The cost of a new link now? Probably in the millions? May be Flybe can sponsor it after they do their sums on what the delays cost them?
Waiting on stand for 10-15 minutes is not uncommon, especially as several flights are scheduled to depart at the same times. Also regularly wait on stand for the aircraft at 7 miles to land and taxi past. Seems a maximum of two aircraft only to taxi after the pushback incident.
Also the amount of fuel wasted holding to depart and wasted by Solents extended vectoring and the limited airspace available, must run a hefty bill for Flybe.
Compared to larger airports like Lgw and man, the movement of air traffic seems very slow, inefficient and cautious.