View Full Version : Last full-length runway built in the UK ?


DaveReidUK
18th Apr 2012, 18:38
Lots of references in the press recently to the last full-length runway built in the UK being Heathrow's, although the media can't quite decide whether that was in 1946 or 1948.

I seem to recall Manchester Airport making that claim on its own behalf, with some justification (3,048 meters of it), in 2001.

Do journalists just have short memories, or isn't Manchester in the UK any more ?



davidjohnson6
18th Apr 2012, 18:45
Haven't you seen the campaign to declare London an independent city state like Venice was years ago ?

xtypeman
18th Apr 2012, 18:53
Boris City State

N707ZS
18th Apr 2012, 18:53
Don't you mean like Spinalonga!

ATNotts
18th Apr 2012, 18:57
The UK national media is based in London and seldom gets off it's collective backside to leave the capital.

I'm sure that 3048m counts as a full length runway, but it isn't around London so clearly doesn't count.

Fairdealfrank
18th Apr 2012, 19:16
Of course MAN was the last airport to have a new "full-length" runway, can't remember when it opened though.

On my last few departures from Ringway noticed departing aircraft being in a queue waiting to take off and being held up by a landing aircraft (as if there was only one runway) while the second runway was unused!

No idea about the runway built in 1946, those making the point never mention where it is, nor do they define "full-length". With so many RAF airfields becoming available for civil use at that time, can't imagine why any new ones would need to be built. Now, however, we need two more, and that's just at LHR!

AFAIK the two longest runways in the UK are at LHR and, again AFAIK, were extended in the 1970s.

Buster the Bear
18th Apr 2012, 20:30
London City has a 'full length' runway and was constructed in the 1980's. Aircraft performance, payload and range dictates the types that can operate from any runway.

scr1
18th Apr 2012, 20:59
longer than MAN. just :E:E

RAF Machrihanish is a former Royal Air Force (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Air_Force) station located 3 NM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nautical_mile) (5.6 km; 3.5 mi) west of Campbeltown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbeltown)[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Machrihanish#cite_note-aip-0) at the tip of Kintyre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kintyre). It is now known as MoD Machrihanish and also incorporates Campbeltown Airport (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbeltown_Airport) which has commercial flights to Glasgow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasgow_International_Airport), operated by Loganair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loganair).
Its runway is 3,049 m (10,003 ft) long.

cant see the press coming that far north

TwinAisle
18th Apr 2012, 21:00
February 2001, Frank :)

Fairdealfrank
18th Apr 2012, 21:30
Thanks TwinAisle, didn't realise it's been that long, now if they'll start using it.....

easyflyer83
18th Apr 2012, 22:02
Remember Sheffield City aswell.

roverman
18th Apr 2012, 22:03
MAN 05R-23L opened in 2001. UK AIP shows 23L to have a length (TORA) of 3200 metres (10498 feet). I'd say that was full length.

DaveReidUK
18th Apr 2012, 22:26
London City has a 'full length' runway and was constructed in the 1980's.

And I guess after it was extended in the '90s it was even fuller-length ...

Fairdealfrank
18th Apr 2012, 22:32
Any one know exactly what constitutes "full length"?

rutankrd
18th Apr 2012, 23:03
I believe that BOTH the runways built in the UK in the last 50 years are in the North West .

Manchester R2 opened 2001 and at Liverpool in 1966, a new 7,500 ft (2,286 m) runway was opened by Prince Philip on a new site to the southeast of the existing airfield.

Only other runways built have been LCY and Sheffield (Now closed ironically)

DaveReidUK
18th Apr 2012, 23:09
Any one know exactly what constitutes "full length"?

It's not a term I've seen defined anywhere, but a reasonable definition IMHO would be the length of runway beyond which an increase would not confer any benefit in terms of takeoff weight for aircraft types in current operation.

In the context in which the term is currently being bandied around by the media, it's clearly intended to exclude the likes of LCY, Sheffield, etc, which are/were only able to accommodate a small range of aircraft types.

Oh, and anywhere else north of Watford.

PeterP
18th Apr 2012, 23:25
Slightly off-topic. What will be the NEXT full-length runway in the UK?
IMHO, it will be Pembrey - since the motorsports centre that currently cuts its tarmac in half looks like going out of business. This would allow something called the Swansea Bay Airport to come into being, with 2,400m immediately available and 3,400m in a year or two. Such capacity would allow for a major MRO and training facility (including A380 revisible runway capacity), plus a rather small local domestic passenger operation.
Just check out Google Earth/Maps to understand this. And consider that less than £1m would produce a facility employing maybe 5-700 people? Right next to a mainline railway and just a few miles from the end of the M4.
A better proposition than Southend or Manston, probably.

johnnychips
18th Apr 2012, 23:28
17 days too late.

jabird
18th Apr 2012, 23:33
On my last few departures from Ringway noticed departing aircraft being in a queue waiting to take off and being held up by a landing aircraft (as if there was only one runway) while the second runway was unused!

There must be some MAN dogs on this forum who are more familiar than I am on this, but is there not a restriction on operating hours of the second runway - part of the Section 106 (if they were called that then) that allowed it to be built in the first place? Also, are there no some restriction on type, also relating to noise constraints. Therefore, it might be long enough, but can it deliver the goods?

Buster - totally agree about LCY and the conditions, that runway is more than capable of serving the destinations LCY wants to serve, with the obvious exception of JFK, but the A318 wasn't previously on their types list anyway...

What about DSA? I know the runway was there as RAF Finningley, but it is still a new airport in the commercial sense, and weren't there some major works done on the runway too before opening?

jabird
19th Apr 2012, 00:14
Slightly off-topic. What will be the NEXT full-length runway in the UK?

Right forum, wrong thread - plenty if you look in each London airport, especially LHR & LGW threads + read the New Thames Airport thread. That one's been quiet for a while, feel free to stir up Mr Silver!

This would allow something called the Swansea Bay Airport to come into being, with 2,400m immediately available and 3,400m in a year or two. Such capacity would allow for a major MRO and training facility (including A380 revisible runway capacity), plus a rather small local domestic passenger operation.

I'm sorry, but I've not seen such pie in the sky for a long time. Why on earth would any operator want to bring an A380 to the west of Swansea, unless some maintenance ops relocated from Rhoose?

And consider that less than £1m would produce a facility employing maybe 5-700 people?

I'm afraid £1m won't even get you an appointment with a planning consultant you will need to speak to so you can even begin to prepare a case for such a scheme.

Nearest comparable current runway project is BHX's extension - 400m? for £145m - although a lot of that is going on A45 diversion. You are still out by around 50-100x though I'm afraid.

Right next to a mainline railway and just a few miles from the end of the M4.
A better proposition than Southend or Manston, probably.

Why? Unfortunately the airport which is most likely to get anywhere, once the political dice have stopped rolling, is at the OTHER end of the M4. Or maybe Gatters, and that island airport as the rank outsider.

This is a branchline, not a mainline - nearest current station is Pembrey & Burry Port - 3 1/2 hours to London, with a change. Sorry - one direct train each day!

The only way you could even contemplate getting passengers out here would be if our troubled industry suddenly boomed overnight and doubled in size. Even then, you'd need a high speed rail link at least to Swansea, and that won't be happening until at least 2060.

Sorry, but this one is a non-starter and if any AMs think otherwise, they are going to be throwing even more money away than they have already squandered on the pointless Anglesey air link.

Skipness One Echo
19th Apr 2012, 00:16
MAN 05R-23L opened in 2001. UK AIP shows 23L to have a length (TORA) of 3200 metres (10498 feet). I'd say that was full length.
Was it not 06R-24L back in the day? I was in Inverness last week and discovered they now have a runway 05-23 now as well!

Slightly off-topic. What will be the NEXT full-length runway in the UK?
The one over Sipson please.....

mathers_wales_uk
19th Apr 2012, 00:33
I'm with you on this one Jabird.

Dairyground
19th Apr 2012, 00:40
I believe that BOTH the runways built in the UK in the last 50 years are in the North West .

Manchester R2 opened 2001 and at Liverpool in 1966, a new 7,500 ft (2,286 m) runway was opened by Prince Philip on a new site to the southeast of the existing airfield.

Only other runways built have been LCY and Sheffield (Now closed ironically)


Wee 'Eck and his teuchters have not yet achieved Scottish independence, so how about the 2556 metres of Edinburgh 06/24, opened as 07/25 in 1977?

spekesoftly
19th Apr 2012, 01:04
East Midlands, Newcastle and Luton also had new runways built in the 1960s.

Phileas Fogg
19th Apr 2012, 01:51
Excuse me but CVT was developed from a grass airfield circa late 70's as I recall and, likewise, PLH was developed from a grass airfield circa early 80's, ESH was also developed from a grass airfield circa 1980's.

Whilst PLH was, then, tiny, with ESH being modestly sized, I'd suggest that CVT's main runway was/is of reasonable length.

And LGW is a 1950's developed airport with it's secondary runway coming along around the late 80's if I recall.

If we're talking 'full length' then compared with the likes of MAD, LUX etc. then UK doesn't have a full length runway!

jabird
19th Apr 2012, 02:53
I'd suggest that CVT's main runway was/is of reasonable length.

PF - the residents of Bubbenhall and Baginton would strongly disagree with that statement, having previously claimed that the runway at CVT would not be long enough for 737 ops - as if somehow Thomsonfly had got their figures wrong!

Where they were of course correct is that CVT would have some restrictions with Ryanair's 738s, hence we've never seen them here, even though our portakabin terminal is the most appropriate Ryanairport facility in the land!

If we take full size as meaning "capable of handling the type of aircraft which would usually serve a city / destination of that stature", then BHX certainly doesn't have a full size runway either, although that is changing.

Westray's 09/32 at 467m on the other hand is perfectly long enough for a two minute twotter hop to Papa Westray :D

Phileas Fogg
19th Apr 2012, 03:25
And Northampton Airport's full length runway was built in the year?

roverman
19th Apr 2012, 07:49
Someone asked earlier about restrictions on R2 at MAN. The planning conditions don't allow use between 2200 and 0600 hours unless R1 is unavailable. The airport doesn't need dual runway at night and so this isn't really restrictive commercially. There are no limits on aircraft type using R2. There are size limits on the LISTO SIDs off both runways, which do cause departure flow constraints at peak times.

DaveReidUK
19th Apr 2012, 08:21
I see that the geographically-challenged Daily Torygraph, which normally conflates "UK" with "London/SE England", managed to hedge its bets yesterday, declaring that:

"The Coalition has delayed its aviation White Paper, the 11th to be produced since the last full-length runway was built in Britain in 1946, until the summer."

while simultaneously reporting the CBI as saying:

"The eleven major policy reviews on airport capacity since the last full-length runway was opened in the south of England in 1948 illustrate the degree of political challenge here."

NorthSouth
19th Apr 2012, 08:48
scr1:MoD Machrihanish...runway is 3,049 m (10,003 ft) long.Not any more it's not. Reduced to 1750m last month.
NS

Barling Magna
19th Apr 2012, 09:13
PeterP wrote: A better proposition than Southend or Manston, probably.

Oh dear; do you know where Southend is? Over a million people within 40 minutes travel time and only 53 minutes rail journey to central London. easyJet services operating to ten destinations, with more to come.

I like Swansea - my brother lived there. I've spent happy hours at Fairwood Common watching him fly around, and Air Wales Dorniers chugging about. With some major investment Swansea probably could support a low key lo-co operation, whether at the current site (but strong local opposition to any runway extension) or at Pembrey, but a better proposition than Southend? Surely some mistake......

Phileas Fogg
19th Apr 2012, 10:12
Wales could have a nice shiny airport with Llanbedr's 2,286m 'full length' runway ..... were the people of Wales not so anti aviation. :)

EGCA
19th Apr 2012, 10:41
Problem is, Phileas, not many of them live near Llanbedr! ( I do see your smiley) Lovely place to visit for a holiday, ie "Shell Island" next to Llanbedr, but a commercial airport? Nooo!

If a third runway at Heathrow is fought off again, and Gatwick I believe has a long term planning restriction that blocks a second runway there for many years, then maybe, just maybe, Manston might be the place to develop?

Probably near enough to an upgradable rail link? Enough land to add three or four hundred metres to the runway?

Maybe "Steady Eddie" could sort it for us....

As an aside, why is a second runway at Stansted not in the equation?

EGCA

TSR2
19th Apr 2012, 10:52
The second runway at MAN (23L/05R) does not have a parallel taxiway and therefore 23L is primarily used for take-off's with landing traffic using 23R. When winds are easterly, 05R is used for landings whilst 23L is used for take-off's. This eliminates the need for backtracking due to lack of parallel taxiway with the new runway, although all traffic to or from the new runway has to cross the old 23R/05L runway.

The new runway is (was) also closed between 12.00 and 15.00.

The SSK
19th Apr 2012, 11:12
Reminds me of the ‘new’ Dusseldorf runway, opened in the 1990s. Under extreme environmental pressure, its construction had been approved only on condition that the new 2-runway airport should be subject to a strict movement cap. The trouble was that by the time it was completed, movements were already well above the cap.

In other words, the moment that the runway came into use, the cap would come into effect. So it was never used. But there was a permanent environmentalists’ camp outside the perimeter fence keeping watch over it and the airport was paranoid that someone would land on it by mistake.

I think at some stage a compromise solution was reached, but it lay idle for years.

NorthSouth
19th Apr 2012, 13:01
EGCA:Manston might be the place to develop?

Probably near enough to an upgradable rail link? Enough land to add three or four hundred metres to the runway?
Built up area of Ramsgate at less than one mile final, planning restrictions on movements especially at night and a very vocal opposition. But it is up for sale...
NS

Leofric
19th Apr 2012, 13:22
Excuse me but CVT was developed from a grass airfield circa late 70's as I recall

Well actually CVT's runway was opened by Lord Brabazon of Tara on 15th October 1960.

To add to the list Leeds/Bradford's main runway was built in or around 1966

LGS6753
19th Apr 2012, 17:12
The Government's last White Paper on Airports (c 2005) referred to 'full length' as 3000m plus.
The politicians want to put the next such runway at Stansted, but that's not where Joe Public wants to fly from. IMHO no decision will be made before 2015, and the next Govenment won't progress it. So we're looking at 2030 before anything is researched, planned, approved and built.
I'll be dead by then....

DaveReidUK
19th Apr 2012, 17:25
The Government's last White Paper on Airports (c 2005) referred to 'full length' as 3000m plus.

That's consistent with this take on what constitutes a "full-length" runway:

Q. Why is a "short" third runway, like that planned by Frankfurt or Heathrow, not a viable option for HKIA [Hong Kong International Airport] ?

A. First of all, runway length requirements depend on a number of factors, such as performance characteristics of the critical aircraft [defined by the FAA as the aircraft most demanding on airport design that operates at least 500 operations a year], runway elevation and weather conditions at the airport. In general, wide-body aircraft require a longer runway than narrow-body aircraft for both takeoffs and landings. The ratio of wide-body operations to narrow-body operations at HKIA is around 70:30. The situation at major airports in Europe is very different, with the ratio of wide-body operations to narrow-body operations in the region of 30:70.

Secondly, other hub airports in the region with three runways all have their third runways built (or planned to be built) to full length, i.e. 3,800 metres or longer, while the proportions of wide-body aircraft operating at these airports are similar to or even much lower than that of HKIA. This clearly demonstrates the importance of operational flexibility that a full-length runway can provide, which is an important criterion in airport infrastructure planning.

FAQs - We Listen - Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030 (http://www.hkairport2030.com/en/information/faq.html)

So, allowing for the fact that HK has a larger proportion of wide body movements, and is a few degrees warmer, that would suggest that a runway at a major international airport of 3000-3500m or longer can reasonably described as "full-length", and anything less than that as "short" (relatively speaking). Of the two "short" runways referred to, FRA's is 2800m, and that proposed for LHR would be 2000-2200m.

Fairdealfrank
19th Apr 2012, 17:54
Quote:
"The new runway is (was) also closed between 12.00 and 15.00."
The new runway is (was) also closed between 12.00 and 15.00. 19th Apr 2012 10:41

Thanks, TSR2, that explains it, my observations were on lunchtime/early afternoon departures, but do you know why? It seems an odd time for a restriction, and very inconvenient!



Quote: "Was it not 06R-24L back in the day? I was in Inverness last week and discovered they now have a runway 05-23 now as well!"

Skipness One Echo, am old enough to remember when LHR's were 10L/28R and 10R/28L! Apparently some runways were reassigned a while back because of some movement in the magnetic north pole.



Quote: "Slightly off-topic. What will be the NEXT full-length runway in the UK?"

Heathrow and Heathrow. The next two new additional runways have to be at LHR and soon! The evidence is there, if carriers cannot access the UK hub, they go elsewhere: not to other UK airports but to other European countries' hubs: AMS, CDG, FRA, and increasingly MAD.

So forget about LGW or STN instead of LHR, forget about BHX or MAN, and definitely forget about any estuary airport! Where are you Silver?

Call-me-Dave, don't delay, do your U-turn today!

More pigs flying.



Quote: "PeterP wrote: A better proposition than Southend or Manston, probably."

Is he referring to Swansea? If so, not a chance!

As it happens, SEN and MSE are too hemmed in for expansion. However, MSE has a long runway (although shorter than LHR's) and can take B747s. Both serve their existing purposes well, but neither can never be seriously considered as sites for major expansion.

jabird
19th Apr 2012, 18:29
Gatwick I believe has a long term planning restriction that blocks a second runway there for many years

Ends in 2019. Chance of proposing, planning, approving and building a runway there before 2019. Nil. So surely it is now an irrelevance?

FDF - more one we've done on other threads, but considering the challenges of getting a 3rd runway at LHR, I'd rate the chances of getting a fourth within the next 20 years as somewhere below the nil chance mentioned above.

Now as for HKG, I supposed it used to be "part" of greater UK - there is also the small question of land reclamation, which ain't cheap, and wouldn't such a runway also need quite a substantial taxiway in order to make it widely enough space from the other 2?

Speaking of colonies, let's not forget MNI, re-opened in 2005 after the previous airport was covered in volcanic debris. Not strictly new in the capacity sense, but still very much a new runway, and as per above,at 553m full length for the kind of services operated.

NorthSouth
19th Apr 2012, 18:44
On the general subject of another runway in the London area:

London area airports (LHR/LGW/LCY/LTN/STN/SEN) movements:

2001: 1.075m
2011: 1.072m

In the next 10-20 years we will have airlines having to comply with carbon trading, and the UK government having to meet its Climate Change Act 2008 requirement to cut emissions of green house gas emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

In addition we have seen a shift towards larger aircraft, with turboprops and E135/145 types now rare at Heathrow while A380 movements are increasing.

On top of that I can't see any prospect of fuel prices doing anything other than a continuous upward trend.

There's no need for additional runways.

NS

Phileas Fogg
19th Apr 2012, 21:09
NS,

You forgot to include London/Ashford and London/Oxford in your 'London' list of airports. :)

Fairdealfrank
19th Apr 2012, 23:02
Quote: "FDF - more one we've done on other threads, but considering the challenges of getting a 3rd runway at LHR, I'd rate the chances of getting a fourth within the next 20 years as somewhere below the nil chance mentioned above."

Agreed, jabird, hence reference to the flying pigs, but realisticly a 4th runway is needed, and as it is taking so long to get a 3rd built, we might as well include a 4th, else we will be going through all this nonsense again.


Quote:"On the general subject of another runway in the London area:

London area airports (LHR/LGW/LCY/LTN/STN/SEN) movements:

2001: 1.075m
2011: 1.072m

In the next 10-20 years we will have airlines having to comply with carbon trading, and the UK government having to meet its Climate Change Act 2008 requirement to cut emissions of green house gas emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

In addition we have seen a shift towards larger aircraft, with turboprops and E135/145 types now rare at Heathrow while A380 movements are increasing.

On top of that I can't see any prospect of fuel prices doing anything other than a continuous upward trend.

There's no need for additional runways.

NS"

Not so, NorthSouth, clearly there is, you need to look at the longterm, because it takes a millenium to get expansion approved. Aircraft are becoming increasingly quieter and cleaner, there is a growing growing demand and need for people to travel, there is increasing prosperity in "emerging" markets which will bring more travellers - business and leisure.


Quote: "You forgot to include London/Ashford and London/Oxford in your 'London' list of airports."

...and "London West" (BOH)?

NorthSouth
20th Apr 2012, 10:26
You forgot to include London/Ashford and London/Oxford in your 'London' list of airportsOnly following the CAA stats convention for definition of London airports. But assuming Lydd's runway/terminal extension is given the go-ahead, and Oxford has some capacity to meet London area demand, that only strengthens my point.
FDF:you need to look at the longtermExactly. Which is why a world in which carbon emissions limits have to be met and not just talked about, and where the very demand you talk about drives oil prices up relentlessly, is highly likely to be incompatible with the assumptions of never-ending expansion of air transport which still prevail.
NS

Fairdealfrank
20th Apr 2012, 14:55
Quote: "Exactly. Which is why a world in which carbon emissions limits have to be met and not just talked about, and where the very demand you talk about drives oil prices up relentlessly, is highly likely to be incompatible with the assumptions of never-ending expansion of air transport which still prevail.
NS "

No, NorthSouth, meant long term, sorry if it was not clear. You're talking very much about the present and the short term. All things are cyclical and at present things look grim, but they haven't always and there's no rule stating that they always will.

Oil prices are up and down depending on geo-political developments, but new reserves are being found all the time (because they have to as traditional supplies become unreliable).

Hybrid fuels are being experimented with and that is just a start. Technology is making aircraft quieter and cleaner, because of legal and other requirements. The same happened with cars, because it had to.

Major expansion in air transport will continue, especially as roads and railways get clogged up and people become increasingly mobile. There is no "putting the genie back in the bottle" as the green lobby would like to see.

Who know what the future holds, but history teaches that neccesity is the mother of invention.

And what does that bring us back to....?!

NorthSouth
20th Apr 2012, 17:38
meant long term, sorry if it was not clearperfectly clear, which is why I was talking about known constraints to 2050
NS

jabird
20th Apr 2012, 18:12
Major expansion in air transport will continue, especially as roads and railways get clogged up and people become increasingly mobile. There is no "putting the genie back in the bottle" as the green lobby would like to see.

There is a difference between our desire to keep visiting new places and a need to get there quickly and to do so in person.

So even if you put the green lobby to one side - something neither the current nor past lot are showing any likelihood of doing - you do still need to find an energy source for all this travel.

You are right about new oil finds, but demand is also rising across Asia and South America, so they have to keep drilling. Synthetics or biofuels are still at some premium, whereas the cost of renewable electricity production is likely to keep falling.

So I agree that we may well still see some expansion over time, but I'm not so sure about the major.

Someone somewhere must have done some robust models on this - shove in oil upto $1000 a barrel or wherever, play with the economy, populations and so on.

At the top end, Concorde has gone and not been replaced. I suggest the most urgent communications can now indeed be done by video conferencing and so on.

I don't think for one minute that people will stop travelling for business or pleasure, but they will accept different ways of getting there.

We've already seen a lot of internal flights moved over to rail within England. To suggest that the rails are too crowded whilst at the same time saying we need airport expansion is a completely inconsistent argument.

Unfortunately, the government's line that we can meet future demand at Heathrow by building a high speed line to places where rail already dominates the market is even more inconsistent.

However, with a big enough crystal ball and a long enough timeline, the answer must surely lie with maglevs - once they become as fast as flying and cheaper to build than motorways or high speed railways. Which might be sometime at the latter end of the next 50 years!