View Full Version : Bologna - departure oddity

7th Oct 2017, 04:51
On Wed Oct 4th, I got to Bologna Airport (BLQ) very early for my flight, so I ended up sitting at Gate 12 for a couple of hours (from about 8am to 10am), with a nice view over the runway. I probably saw 10 or more arrivals in that time, and a similar number of departures.

Now here's the curious thing: every single one used runway 12 ... except one !

For some reason the BA aircraft which left while I was sat there (perhaps BA543 ?) took off in the opposite direction using runway 30. At the time I thought, "oh must be runway changeover time like at Heathrow but then every subsequent aircraft started using runway 12 again.

Any thoughts on why a single movement should be switched like that ? Just curious really :)

Piltdown Man
7th Oct 2017, 22:07
Bologna are reasonably flexible about which way you takeoff. Providing you don’t upset arrivals, you can normally depart whichever way you want. Given where BA normally park, a Rwy 12 departure is a shorter taxi and at least starts them off in the direction they need to go.

7th Oct 2017, 22:31
I'm guessing you really mean 30, which is the runway the OP saw the BA using ?

7th Oct 2017, 23:16
Avg33k, welcome to the forum and thank you for an interesting question. As well as the position of BA's parking area and flexibility of Bologna tower, the wind must have been light to zero.

Hotel Tango
7th Oct 2017, 23:18
I have no idea about Bologna's surrounding terrain. I do know that when runway 03 was in use at Lanzarote the odd heavier aircraft would opt for a runway 21 tailwind take off over the sea rather than towards rising terrain if they used 03. Something to do with engine out constraints I believe, but I'm sure someone can clarify the exact reason.

8th Oct 2017, 08:14
Thanks for the welcome, and pleased I was able to kick off with a worthy question.

It was a lovely day in Bologna - clear, warm and sunny, I don't recall any particular wind.

By contrast, our approach into Eindhoven was very sporty indeed :)

8th Oct 2017, 20:00
Also, as a Newbie, you get extra points for knowing the correct runway headings! :ok:

Heathrow Harry
8th Oct 2017, 20:06
Bologna airport is flat both east and west - south the hlls rise quite quickly but the city is between the airport and the hills so for environmental reasons no-one goes that way anyway . North you have 60-70 miles before you reach the mountains so effectively any E-W departure is over totally flat (and very boring but rich) countryside

IIRC a lot of aircraft are parked east of the terminal (v few if any airgates for short-haul = buses) so if the BA flight was right at the end ATC may have just let them have a short taxi to 30 and t/o to the west rather than drive for miles

9th Oct 2017, 13:22
I remember departing Houston on a DC10-30 not long after BA took over BCAL. I'd been watching the incoming stream and was a bit surprised as we taxied to the "wrong" end of the runway but assumed there was a runway change in progress. Wrong! As we made a turn after departure I found myself looking at a line of incoming lights heading towards where we had just been.