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Old 15th Dec 2008, 02:11
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Interesting that both posts are by people from the South East of England. Presumably the 'local' pilots might have a different view.
Flybar - I'm a local pilot and was based at Leeds for a few years with my previous employer, and I agree with everything Rainboe and Stampe say. I didn't really have any probs getting in and out of LBA, (except my huge dislike of the most bone-shaking, teeth-rattling runway in Europe) but the types I operated were regional aircraft; I have a huge amount of respect for the Jet2 757 drivers who do it everyday, because frankly I think I'd mess my pants.

Last edited by RAFAT; 16th Dec 2008 at 00:03.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 13:05
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well many of us can remember the pre-extension days, with a useable distance of under 5000 foot, I think LDA on 15 was about 4600 and TODA on 33 was 4800. Even a F27 was significantly weight restricted on 33 departure, so the operation of 737-2 to Spanish destinations was at the limits of the aircraft, as you could imagine..... and the pioneering airline was ironically Britannia.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 13:07
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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A300boy

Ok so your flying a heavy aircraft trans atlantic to a scruffy limiting airfield that has a marginal runway landing distance and the weather is just above limits and your next leg after making this approach and landing is a positioning flight to the big local no problem airport where you are all based and the crew will be home 3 hours earlier, What would you do ? I agree with our professional crew members safest option is best as it might be me or one of my family members in the back inconvienience is acceptable. However I do not believe you cannot improve the situation at Leeds operationally and it needs to be a priority for the new owners or stick to short haul smaller aircraft and forget larger and long haul aspirations. Just done some autolands at Luton as the waether was poor and the same problem of extended flare exists as at Leeds, and they have 10 million passengers a year, so Leeds can still develop I believe, remember technology continues to progress it was not so long ago we were told it was impossible to install Ils on runway 14 at all.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 14:13
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Sorry A300boy, you are making so many assumptions, most of which are incorrect. The way long haul patterns are constructed, it is almost certain that the crew were NOT Manchester based. Also, they would NOT be doing the positioning flight LBA-MAN, so wherever they landing, they would be going into a hotel, before positioning to base the next day....ie purely an operational, safety related decision to divert, nothing to do with crew convenience. There is much more to commercial aviation than is obvious in Spotter Central.

(and, to be honest, landing at LBA I would far rather be driving a 757/767, because with eight braked mainwheel units, they stop far more impressively than a 737)

Last edited by Moondance; 15th Dec 2008 at 14:26.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 14:31
  #185 (permalink)  
 
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Quote:
(and, to be honest, landing at LBA I would far rather be driving a 757/767, because with eight braked mainwheel units, they stop far more impressively than a 737)

Agreed, but only once the tyres are on the ground.....
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 15:23
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Summer 2009

Anybody know if the based Thomas Cook A320 is coming back again?

Are we likely to see any new airlines into LBIA next summer?.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 15:37
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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A300boy

I agree the specifics of this diversion are not known to me my comments were a generalisation of previous year involving some Manchester based airlines. The braking principles are well known to me and our A300 would have no problem landing 14 with a 10kts tailwind at Mlw even though with no brake fans we might have to wait 2 hours before departing again !! once again no critisim of the crew concerned but lets not pretend we not human.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 19:28
  #188 (permalink)  
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Thomas Cook A320 will be back, and I would say at the moment it's looking unlikely that any new airlines will be in, but who knows.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 20:31
  #189 (permalink)  
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nice to see that tool rainboe has surfaced before christmas, i was worried there'd be a mountain of milk bottles outside his door after he'd bored himself to death by repeating his same old bullsh1t to himself.
saves me from ringing 999, thanks.
Chaps, it's a bit sad that in response to criticism of the place from an operational POV, the fact that it comes from 'namby pamby southerners' is used to denigrate the comments! This is the highest airport in the UK, god-awful weather, surrounded by dales, with the runway conveniently at 90 degrees to the prevailing wind. Built on top of a hill, with nice views from the 32 holding point across the city (because you are on the edge of an escarpment), it has a too-short runway that is guaranteed to loosen your fillings, and run off the end of 14, you are guaranteed to not be alive at the bottom because it's well steep! (Hint to pilots- reject to right whatever you do. You're still going to go downhill, but maybe you stand a little more chance!).

It distresses me a lot of people have a lot of faith in this dodo. It's been kept alive in the typical British fashion of proping dead things and machinery up in the hope nobody will notice they died 25 years ago, a bit like Lapland New Forest. It's a waste of energy. Leeds deserves better! I am not anti-Yorkshire at all (though I think John Smiths tastes as though it's passed through too many sheeps' digestive systems first on its way to the brewery). As a UK taxpayer, I would like to see a complete new airport built (like somewhere near a motorway/rail terminal!) and shared with Wakefield and Barnsley, though the reason that dead duck is kept afloat is Bradford wants it. Face it, the Leeds metropolitan area is always going to be stiffled if this is the only airport, always failing in its expansion because people can't find it or get to it, or anybody sustain long range services from it! So what if some mugs paid a fortune- selling this as development land with spectacular views would have helped fund a new airport (no it wouldn't- it would have gone into that black hole called 'council gold plated pensions'). Those mugs must be staring into their coffee each day thinking 'what have we done?'.

It's not working. Leeds needs more. I actually like the place. You could improve it by speaking Hampshire up there, but it has to be the biggest city with the lamest airport in Europe. The answer is not to do it on the cheap any more! You don't keep old cars going indefinitely. this is the Morris 1000 of the airport world- a Noddy car. Eventually you buy a BMW, and then realise you should have got one years ago because it's so good and the Noddy car is actually appalling. What's a billion these days? It's only about 1/1000th of what Robber Brown will fund to banks and building societies in this recession on our behalf (meaning WE pay for it). I will sign a petition to take this airport to the vets and have it put down gently and taken to the scrap yard and buy Leeds a shiny new one! You have only to ask. It's a labour government and you are northerners- you'll get what you want. Look at Northern Rock!

I shall start on Southampton Airport next. What a pathetic monument for Solent city! We got troubles down here too.

Back in 6 months guys! Don't waste your energy on something that has conked out on you! The big end has definitely gone, and the bodywork has got holes in it.

Last edited by Rainboe; 15th Dec 2008 at 20:45.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 20:52
  #190 (permalink)  
 
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Let it go, man.

Don't worry yourself too much about it. It's making you look silly.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 22:31
  #191 (permalink)  
 
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Woo Hoo!!

A Spotters/Enthusiasts v Professionals spat.

I'll get the popcorn.
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 22:52
  #192 (permalink)  
 
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A300boy

Hi Rainboe ! The trouble with you is your are ever so nearly correct about our ski slope but you do love to rub it in ! anyway you been to Sarfend,Bristol or Sarfhampton in one of your flying tubes in the past ? they are all sarf of Watford and just as bad. Thames Estuary / Leeds South International maybe !
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 22:52
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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Lapland flight

I see there is a flight tomorrow to Enontekio in Finland,operated by Hamburg International Airlines.

Is this a first visit or have they visited LBIA before?
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Old 15th Dec 2008, 23:49
  #194 (permalink)  
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The trouble with you is your are ever so nearly correct about our ski slope but you do love to rub it in ! anyway you been to Sarfend,Bristol or Sarfhampton in one of your flying tubes in the past ? they are all sarf of Watford and just as bad.
I have operated out of all three, not SOU recently, but that museum piece has not changed. It's noticeably sad that I fly out of smaller cities in Europe with modern, better equiped airports and terminals. We are being desperately left behind with a bizarre lack of investment for facilities (except for airport shops and civil servant offices). The whole infrastructure of the UK is becoming ....ramshackle and shoddy. Considering how everything is so much busier here......where is the money robbed from us all by Brown going? Is he blowing it all on his favourite- benefits- and starving the infrastructure so he can laugh as he hands over the keys to No 10 knowing they can do nothing to retrieve us? Heaven help us because the whole country is going to look like Yeadon soon. But we are paying through the nose, so what is he doing with it?
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 11:18
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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last airport that God built?

I worked at LBA for many years... the wx was far worse than recent times, poor or non existent ILS, precious little lighting.... you were more likely to divert from LBA than any other UK airport (Scottish Highlands and Islands included!) by a country mile! In winter the runway was often called "skid pan alley" and all this with just 5000 foot to play with.

However all this is in the past. When the runway was extended and a new terminal was built they had an opportunity to drastically improve the situation. But they categorically failed, instead of thinking big, of planning for the future, nay of even building a place fit for a few widebodies a day they completely and utterly blew it. That first summer in the mid 80's there were 4 widebodies per week, clearly showing the potential, but for most of the past 20 years there has been almost none, despite their total numbers growing. Why?
Firstly, the LDA... inadequate for a safe op, when you throw in crosswinds, a wet runway, gradients and poor terrain. Those first A300's had 353pax... throw in complacency and sorry, but I would rather stay at home. After the overrun the L1011 crews were sent to the sim to practice short field landings, (a little too late). On the old runway , Britannia (737-2) often used to even warn the pax prior to landing, it's short so expect a positive touchdown.... previous post by Sqark7000 spot-on. I think that even nowadays 737/757 crews need total respect for this airfield and the conditions. Conclusion.... unsuitable for widebody ops, (I know the PIA A310 only has about 180pax, but this is an exception rather than the norm). But this problem could have been avoided when the runway was extended. Did they not think that large planes would land there? I honestly don't beleive they did.
Secondly, the new terminal that opened around the same time was totally and utterly inadequate from day one. Can you beleive that? I read on another thread that posters were complaining about the continuous building site that is LBA and that this predicament was caused in more recent times. Untrue. The brand spanking new terminal they gave us in the mid 80's was a total waste of money. Every facet was inadequate, the check-in area, international deps and arrivals, even the domestic functions. All that the new airport terminal was capable of handling, (and here its similar to the runway) was the same type of aircraft that operated before, ie max size basic 737. Incredibly, even if just two 737s came around the same time it could not cope. Just one year later they started to extend the place and the rest is history. Cost to the taxpayer, millions and Joe Public kept in the dark. Cost to the airport over the years must be unthinkable.
The management at the time, Denison was APD, I think No2 was Savage, must take full credit. I think their motto was "think small" and "bad by design"
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 13:38
  #196 (permalink)  
 
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I have to agree galaxy68,it was a shambles under the old management but this new lot are even worse. Its still about doing things on the cheap and making as much money as possible before they leave in a couple of years. I cant help but think LBA was screwed by Leeds city council just so they could line their own pockets. It certainly wasnt for the good of the airport or for the whole of Leeds. It makes me wonder what things would have been like if they sold it to one of the already established airport operators that bidded or even balfour beaty who also put an offer in. Some times you have to lose money to make money in the long run but Bridgepoint are only here for the short term so we wont see any meaninfull investments within the next couple of years at least
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 13:44
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A300boy

We all agree then a longer more useable runway is the key followed by operational and equipment improvements We are stuck with the site we have as the other better sites were discarded so we are where we are ! Lets hope our new owners spend their money on improvement but they have to make the place pay too. More flights to more destinations please is my wish as I am stuck in Malpensa on Christmas Eve and only able to get a flight to Heathrow then a bus to sunny Yeadon.
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 15:53
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Whilst most of the above comments are credible it did not help to have a non 24 hour operational directive in place for far too long after the runway was extended meaning that charter airlines would be reluctant to base at LBA, thus passenger figures were lower than might be expected for the catchment area. This then curtails further investment. Additionally being owned by five local authorities is a further handicap. The terrain around Leeds Bradford and district is hilly and relatively urbanised so where do you have an airport that is near for everyone. Too far away and Manchester is even more attractive! Then of course Yeadon was there .. building it and flying Lancasters seemed a good idea at the time. Negative politicians in the past have not helped either. The developments for the future seem exciting and maybe the good folk of West Yorkshire will have an airport that everyone is proud of. There are many airports in this country and abroad which are far inferior to LBA.
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Old 16th Dec 2008, 20:02
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There is, at last, a sensible debate going on hrere mainly about past failings. As A300boy says "we are where we are" the place is not going to close any time soon and it does have huge potential. Look at the Masterplan for the place, longer runway (extensions at both ends) more parking, parallel taxyway coupled with new road links and a CAT2 ILS on 14 and you would have an airport approaching it's potential. Sadly it wont happen any time soon due to the costs, and Bridgepoint are only there for a fast buck. Lets hope the company they sell LBA to after the Terminal improvements actually look at the masterpan and instigate some of the proposed airfield improvements, Don't hold your breath!
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Old 17th Dec 2008, 10:40
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the place is not going to close any time soon and it does have huge potential.
Sorry, but I read this as 'the place does have potential to be propped up and made to look as if it is alive for another decade or two (but it will not develop)'. How can the runway be extended both ends? When you are at the start of 32, you have a bewildering view over the vista of the city. You do not want that- you want flat ground thank you very much! Operationally (for pilots and aeroplanes), the place is totally inadequate, verging on dangerous. Socially, for local employees and local passengers, it's fine. Any extension southeastwards will be adding a lump to the side of the hill. I assume that is why the runway has such a dip after the threshold- it allowed an extension that could be made out beyond the other side of the slope to the south east. But any further extension will make it like a navy carrier's stern. Run off the end of 14 or undershoot 32 and you are so doomed it's not true. Working on the principle that someone someday will run off the end of any runway, we are just waiting for the fatal accident that is pre-ordained. And extension will make the effect so much more severe when it happens.

The RAF have progressively moved out of bases in Yorkshire and elsewhere. They are grabbed by local councils as 'business parks'. This is criminal where a beautiful runway is wasted. SURELY there is a retired base that can be developed at low cost into a new Leeds airport?
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