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Southampton-3

Old 10th Oct 2021, 07:31
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Technically its never closed due to poor visibilility. As runway centreline lighting is available take-offs can take place down to RVR 200m. Its just that approaches to land cannot be legally flown when the RVR falls below approxinately 800 metres. This value is calculated using a combination of the lowest decision height for a particular aircraft and the length of the approach lighting system.
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 07:58
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I think the physical characteristics of SOU would preclude CAT II with regard to the size of the protected area surrounding a CAT II runway being greater than that for CAT I.
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 08:42
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Thanks I accept that may well be the case. Consequently any focus should be to get the RVR minima down to 550 metres or hope that everyone fits EVS?
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 09:02
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Yes, that could be possible with improved lighting and removal of all possible approach path obstructions etc.. Does SOU have runway centreline lighting at present? I know SEN were hopeful of reducing the RVR approach minima to 550m and I carried out a survey of all RVR data over a number of years which showed that only around 15% of those were between 550m and 750m, so the practical difference it would make in reducing away diversions was not that great.
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 09:11
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Yes, my post 601 refers.
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 10:46
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While it gets this thread excited, does anybody know what actual real world impact of reduced visibility is at SOU? How often affected, flights diverted?
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 11:22
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The CAA used to publish the numbers of diverted flights at UK airports but I cannot find them from a quick search. However, perhaps the numbers of cancelled flights at UK airports would have some relevance to diverted flights, as the former is often the result of the latter. On that basis SOU seems to have had more cancelled flight in 2019 than virtually any other UK airport. Of 32,529 SOU movements around 3% were cancelled while at LCY around 2% were cancelled - both having CAT I ILS.

Maybe someone has access to the actual CAA diverted flights statistics.
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 13:01
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LCC

Something else to mention when this usual SOU RVR topic pops up is ref to any future plans for getting a LCC based (post any extension) CAT3 lighting is generally a requirement, diverting A320/737 aircraft is a costly exercise and heavily frowned upon by the likes of EZY and RYN.
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 13:24
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…negligible impact on an annual basis, LCY and the 3 Channel Island Airports suffer rather more. But like most airports with a single runway, x-winds likely equally problematic..
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 14:00
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"SOU seems to have had more cancelled flight in 2019 "

In my experience cancellation is correlated with the airline rather than the airport... some are /were pretty bad
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 14:22
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And who was the major operator out of SOU in 2019?
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 15:04
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Exactly, how many of those cancellations were to do with weather, I bet very few!
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 16:33
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It can be fairly frequent a this time of the year but probably not enough to justify significant investment. I believe they installed some equipment a year or so ago that checks the visibility (previously done by a man on a ladder) which seems to have resulted in less diversions. The runway lighting system must be due an upgrade though. I wouldn't be surprised if it is the same one from when the airport opened. A grooved runway like SEN would also help and the runway must be due a resurface. Small things can be done to improve things. The armchair experts on here thought Embraer's larger jets could not use the stands parallel to the runway but we have now seen a number of BA ones use them. Clearly they made changes to improve the operating environment.

On a side note, I see the demolition of South Stoneham House is about to happen. Its a 17 story tower block which 20 departures to the north fly over. I wonder if this will help runway performance a little bit.
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 17:29
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I understand the runway surface is good for another 5 years (not been done since late 90’s so this is disappointing) and agree that the runway approach lighting seems substandard and needs investment!

Last edited by stewyb; 10th Oct 2021 at 21:27.
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 21:43
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The approach and runway edge lighting was upgraded around the time that it was re-surfaced with asphalt. When the latter took place it was grooved but due to having a cross fall for drainage rather than being cambered the grooving does not work as it was intended to. This was the subject of one of my much earlier posts.
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 22:00
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Sometimes the diversions can be due to poor operations planning. About 3 years ago I was maintenance for Flybe at SOU.
One evening at around 2000 just as the last departures took off the fog arrived as forecast. I took a look at the BBC weather and saw that at around 2200 they were showing a little bit of wind picking up and I thought, "That will lift the fog".
We watched the flight tracker as the inbounds all went into the hold. One by one they diverted to EXT, BHX. BRS, CDF. Just as the last one landed at BRS I looked out of the window and could see the runway, the RVR was at least 800m. It was too late for the 8 diverted aircraft to get airborne again. Very big cost in transport and reputation.
If I could see the possible improvement in the vis why couldn't Flybe ops. the met men or the crews? A delay of about 1/2 hour in the departures would have got all 8 aircraft in at SOU. Airport closes at 2300 or 2330.
For info, I did 20 years night freighting around Europe and got a lot of experience of spring and autumn fogs.
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Old 19th Oct 2021, 19:19
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High Court throw out the two appeals for a judicial review on the runway extension. One step closer to spades in the ground!

Last edited by stewyb; 19th Oct 2021 at 19:35.
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Old 19th Oct 2021, 20:55
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Great news! Fingers crossed this finally clears the way for a business being allowed to invest its own money in its business and creating jobs in the process.

Oh, and there were two objectors it turns out! Guess who the second objector was? BOH airport! Absolutely vile business! Personally there should be repercussions for that kind of behaviour.
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Old 20th Oct 2021, 08:26
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Care to elaborate on what these repercussions might be?
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Old 20th Oct 2021, 09:32
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Rivet Joint

Hardly surprising tho is it, doesn't this happen in business every day, am pretty sure Tesco's complain everytime a new Lidl is planned to open near one of there stores.
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