View Full Version : Island Reserve

13th Sep 2009, 08:10
The thread about QF and journalism and Darwin diversions jogged my reminiscing button.

50 odd years ago when I became involved in Ops Control type matters, long haul airlines like BOAC had a minimum fuel policy for island or isolated destinations a long way from anywhere which called for 120 minutes holding in lieu of the 90 minutes which was more common.

'Twas explained to the young Wod that if the aircraft ahead of you going into Bermuda happened to come to a halt, broken, on the single runway, you were going nowhere; next airport up the road was a long way away. However, in two hours the locals could drag the aircraft off the runway, clean up the big bits of debris, and you'd be right.

In my time it happened to (I think) a Britannia in Bermuda. US Marine Corps turned up ,with Caterpillar tractors and wire hawser, moved the aircraft, and the airport re-opened.

Buggered the Britannia, because the wire hawsers sawed into important bits.

Meanwhile, in Darwin, BOAC Comets and QF Connies were using Daly Waters as alternate (I think a Comet went there, and stayed a while waiting for jet fuel).

Came the heavier aircraft, Darwin went to Island Reserve.

When I came South and joined QF, DRW and BDA were still Island Reserve, along, naturally, with Papeete.

Don't remember any crises though, and eventually Tindall got built.

I have no idea if there was any formal requirement for the affected airports to have both the equipment and the waivers to muscle aircraft off the runway.

Any correction or expansion of the above is welcome.

13th Sep 2009, 09:03
CX still use "island reserve" for Perth and sometimes Auckland.

"When a destination airport is considered isolated, defined as no alternate airport available within 1 hour 45 minutes flight time from the destination, additional fuel and flight planning constraints apply."

14th Sep 2009, 02:29
All good stuff in theory of course.

What about the scenario when the aircraft in front blocks the single runway?

Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's safest practise.

14th Sep 2009, 02:49
Perth at least has 2 runways...as long at the pile of metal doesnt intersect the two!!!! plus Pearce Airforce base if it realy goes to pot.

You would hope that if it came down to the crunch the plane could be scrapped to the side pretty quickly...."you have 2 hours guys"

Capt Fathom
14th Sep 2009, 03:29
What about the scenario when the aircraft in front blocks the single runway?

Do enlighten us!

14th Sep 2009, 04:33
Aircraft have landed on taxiways you know. Not that I'm advocating the Altn for Perth Rwy 21 is the parallel taxiway!!, but it could be used in a dire emergency as a last resort.

I'd worry more about un-forecast fog hitting Perth than an Aircraft becoming disabled on the runway..............

Most Cathay flights would arrive with about 3:00 hrs fuel ( 2:00 island reserve, 30 mins of un-used contingency and 30 mins fixed reserve ) and therefore could divert to another airport in WA should something unforseen occur. Qantas however? I don't know.

15th Sep 2009, 01:48
So why bother with IR if you are carrying normal B-C fuel anyway...? Maybe a PNR plan on Learmonth would work better from VHHH.

The idea of IR is to allow time for tempo/inter type wx to pass or clear a blocked rwy.... whatever, 2 hrs is usually suff for this.

IR was probably more relevant in DC-3 days

Capt Claret
15th Sep 2009, 02:12
I monitored DRW App the other day after deperture for some 150nm. An aircraft had become disabled (turned out to be a C310 with a RH main gear collapse/failure).

Inbound to DRW were QF842, JQ??, Aussiexxx, plus sundry others, the first three all diverted to Tindal.

The runway was advised as closed for an indeterminate period of time, which in the end was circa 1 hour.

No one offered to bulldoze the errant aircraft off the runway. No one offered Taxiway Alpha, some 3000m long for landing. As I understand it, from the subsequent NT News article (a dubious source) the aircraft was cleared from the RWY in about 10 mins (I think), and the rest of the delay was ensuring no FOD etc.

IMHO, the Air Transport Captain of an RPT jet who declared an emergency and landed over the disabled area, or before it, or on a taxiway, simply on the basis of not carrying enough fuel for an alternate, because some bean counter says, "it costs money to tanker fuel", would find it difficult to satisfactorily explain their decision to an inquest. The more damage or deaths that resulted in such an event, the more difficult explaining the decision not to have alternate fuel. I also suspect that the AOC holder would have some difficult explanations to make.

I also expect that had a diverting aircraft executed a missed approach because they were number two, to the C310, and then diverted to Tindal and landed with less than fixed reserve, then they & the AOC holder would be offering ammunition to the regulator, all quite unnecessarily.

So, the above example is of a Capital City aerodrome, with two runways, which was effectively U/S for an hour or so, with no advance warning. :ooh:

15th Sep 2009, 03:38
Cx policy always requires we carry an Altn for all flights within 1:45 of destination. The airports in WA within this time don't meet the RFF requirements, so we must carry IR of 2 hrs.
There are wx minimums thrown in to the requirement as well.
A good policy I think.

This means that all Cx flights into Perth will have about 2.5 to 3.0 hrs fuel on arrival.

15th Sep 2009, 08:12
Many moons ago, island reserve was exactly that. Tahiti required island reserve due lack of close alternates.

15th Sep 2009, 08:42
:} Australia is an island!:}

Falling Leaf
15th Sep 2009, 10:02
No, it is a Continent. :)

Capt Claret
15th Sep 2009, 11:47
Australia is the only island that is a continent too. :8

Fred Gassit
15th Sep 2009, 12:44
I've seen a QF737 land on Rwy 36 at YPDN when the main runway was disabled.

Quite easy to get set up in parts of WA with regard to unforecast wx changes, a famous one was an f28 landing at Fitzroy Crossing in the dark.

Lately I'm thinking I should carry an hours holding for PH on spec just to allow for the traffic delays.

15th Sep 2009, 13:40
carrying alternate fuel as EK does for everywhere is fine but sometimes a bit of an overkill.
Perth is a great example... we go in there most days with enough gas to get to Learmonth. ( carrying cost is about 350 kg per tonne) .... but if we were to actually divert there it would be the biggest admin nightmare ... base is minimum equipped for 777 /345 and the 350 pax , 40 mins from accom, you would be out of duty etc etc.. total night mare.

So if the weather is bad you carry ADL fuel.. but if the WX is good why carry gas for somewhere that you would have absolutely no intention of going to..ie commit to destination concept.

.....when PEA is 20 miles north if the 'C310' craps out at the intersection and cant be dozed pulled or what ever out of the way.

I calculated that for the two flights a day we go in there, versus the number of times we need fuel for ADL we could very easily carry less gas for good ( ie above STD alt minima) WX and save about ... 3000 tonnes per day of burnt gas .. which at 600USD per tonne is a lot of money.....

Notwithstanding the carbon, NOX blah blah GRI's etc etc ...

but ...We can't nominate PEA as an alternate as it is not joint user etc etc... so entirely politics...( and by the way we operate into perth when Pearce is closed most of the time...)

So if Peter Garret really wanted to fix the environment this is one football he could take and run with and would save the planet from heaps of problems..

but what do I know... I just push the tin...


Goat Whisperer
16th Sep 2009, 02:06
I don't get why Kalgoorlie's runway can't be extended to (say) 2400m which would allow a safe arrival for pretty much anything that rocks up in Perth. Nominating Kal instead of Island Reserve would save vast tonnage of fuel carried to Per from HKG/SIN/BKK, maybe even JHB.

Surely Perth's fueller would be the greatest beneficiary (and the client airlines second). With inbound aircraft rocking up with less in the tanks, they would sell more kero for the outbound sector.

16th Sep 2009, 02:37
All they have to do is provide RFF at the airports that already are long enough.


16th Sep 2009, 04:22

If YPKG's runway is to be extended to allow larger aircraft to divert there then a whole heap more parking space is going to be needed. Presently if two B767/A330 sized aircraft turn up there the place is full.