750xl- what is your airlines policy on checked in bags do they charge for it? Who does the load control? Do you have engineers readily available if you have a problem? What do you record as off blox engine start or brakes release? You are right in saying the procedures need to be looked at but simply to say that we do it therefore you should be able to could be like comparing apples and oranges.
750xl- what is your airlines policy on checked in bags do they charge for it?
All checked items are charged
Who does the load control?
Manual loadsheet completed by the dispatcher, the bag distribution is standard
[QUOTE]Do you have engineers readily available if you have a problem?/QUOTE]
If requested engineers will attend.
25minute turnarounds are possible up to around 200 pax in my opinion, if the airport infrastructure supports it. Passengers need a 'holding pen' type area (Amsterdam do this great on the lo-co pier), with all boarding cards pulled ready to open the door and release the pax
Thanks for that 750. Our airline requires the pilots to be load control and although we have a nifty PDA we are still responsible for making sure the paperwork is in order and that any discrepancies are resolved before we turn our attention to FMS entries. I totally agree with your qualification that the airport infrastructure needs to support it. I think that you also need to have the staff understand and accept the reasons for reducing the turnarounds to 25 minutes. Simply saying that they do it overseas therefore you should do it ignores the complete lack of frontline staff engagement that exists where I work.
In the 1970's all our BAC 1-11 and F27 turn-rounds were scheduled as 25 minutes. In my area we handled some 25-30 a day at 3 airports.
Typically, about 30% of passengers would remain on board in transit. Baggage volumes were quite large.
The ground equipment was of the technology of the time; much cruder than modern stuff.
Not all turn-rounds would include fuelling but if they did it was not a problem, partly, I suppose, because the quantities were small due to the short sectors.
I have no recollection at all of any problems stemming from turn-rounds being too short, or of crews saying that their job was difficult because of it. I always believed that the 25-30 minutes turn-round was an economically necessary industry standard for short-haul operations. A typical rotation would have 6 20 - 40 minute sectors, and 5 25-minute turn-rounds. An additional 10 minutes, say, on turn-rounds would cost dearly in terms of aircraft utilisation. I'm sure the same applies today.
Incidentally, I think that VC10s and L-1011s were allowed 45 minutes for a transit stop, but perhaps that's my failing memory at work.
There can be a huge difference between scheduled turnaround and actually achieve time. It should be up to the captain to take a good part in the management of the turnaround if a short one is desired.
Assuming a B737 / A320 type, it would be foolish to schedule 30 minutes at an airfield with shortage of handling staff or equipment with possible wait for refuelling. On the other hand, if there is a turnaround where minimum effort is required, perhaps re-fuelling not needed, small numbers of disembarking and joining pax, no freight etc a shorter turnaround could be scheduled.
There are ways to reduce turnaround time, like fuel tankering to minimise the time needed for any necessary re-fueling, keeping through pax on board and re-arranging the way cleaning is conducted.
We have all experienced fast turnarounds at times, with a bit more consideration and effort when running out of crew duty time etc. At these times we realise what can be achieved. I have seen a safe 6 minute DC9-30 turnaround at a country airport with a small refuel in 6 minutes. Also a pre-planned 10 minute B727-200 turnaround without refuelling with centre engine running.
Safety is always the major consideration at such times and I considered the 6 minute turnaround met all the then existing safety requirements, but I was less satisfied with the 10 minute one due I do not like the idea of continued engine operation.
Sheppey's original question shows some lateral thought in questioning whether what has become "normalised" due to the Loco movement has compromised safety in any way.
I am surprised that the tone of some of the responses appears to be more indicative of demonstrating "big cahoonas" rather professionals looking at a question on safety, objectively.
Many an error made at the pre-flight stage does not come around and bite one's bum until later. e.g. load-sheet error, take-off data calculations, wx forecast change, new notam, error in programming FMC etc. Hands up anyone who can say that they have never made an error in any of the above?
The basic principle of CRM is to avoid single - point failures (human error) becoming consequential, by ensuring that all safety critical activities are independently cross - checked / monitored by another. Personal experience indicates that it is this cross - checking that goes out the window when things are rushed. Sure, everything gets done - but cross-checked??? I couldn't help but smile when the first response to Sheppey was from a flight attendant who "would never describe our flight deck crew as being flat out" as the pilots have different tasks.
The pre-flight stage is high risk in light of the importance placed on "on time performance" by many (most?) companies. Anything that places a tight fixed time limit on, without being too sensationalistic, safety critical activities deserves to be at least open to questioning.
On my type, it seems the limiting factor is usually not the cockpit preparation and the walkaround, but rather the often slow disembarkation of the passengers, cabin preparation and embarkation thereafter. Often, the FMS setup and chart preparation is ready and checked when the inbound passengers have not even left the aircraft; allowing the cockpit crew to even lend the cabin a hand in e. g. relocating the cabin divider. Normally, the allocated 30 minutes are working quite well; a high speed turnaround is feasible in a bit less than 20 minutes if no refuelling is required and nothing untoward happens.
But nevertheless, who says that one needs to rush oneself to meet the turnaround time, however much of it may have been allocated? Every once in a while, more time is needed to obtain proper flight documentation, dive into the MEL, check the catering or whatever else may happen - and then one will simply take the necessary time. If this results in a delay, this is regrettable, of course, but priorities have to be set. Still, not all is lost then. Much can be done by adjusting the cruise speed or selecting a faster, less economic flight level for example.
And finally, if one finds the turnaround (or block, for that matter) times insufficient in one rotation, why not report this to the company. If a trend is discernable, on occasion the schedule will be adjusted in the next period.