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Humidifier
31st Jul 2019, 15:30
Flying over northern Canada the other day, we had a bit of a discussion in the flightdeck about the usability of CYYQ (Churchill) and CYFB (Iqaluit aka Frobisher Bay) as diversion alternates. Both seem to have a published limitation on the maximum wing span on the main landing runway. Take CYFB. The electronic version of the jeppesen airway manual airport directory states a wingspan limit of max 51 m, which would make it unsuitable for our 60 m wide B787. However, my non-updated paper version Jepp AD doesn’t have that limit. Our own OM-C lists it as a usable alternate. I checked some other (old) OM-C’s. Quatar approves it for their 777, and Emirates is even happy to put an A380 there. To top that off, British A landed a 787-9 on 12 sept last year at Iqualuit. Generally speaking, i find it very unusual to have a wingspan limit on a long enough instrument landing runway with standard width. Beyond the obvious “in a dire emergency i will put it down anyhere”, i feel that i am missing something here. Anybody any thoughts?

tdracer
31st Jul 2019, 19:20
Flying over northern Canada the other day, we had a bit of a discussion in the flightdeck about the usability of CYYQ (Churchill) and CYFB (Iqaluit aka Frobisher Bay) as diversion alternates. Both seem to have a published limitation on the maximum wing span on the main landing runway. Take CYFB. The electronic version of the jeppesen airway manual airport directory states a wingspan limit of max 51 m, which would make it unsuitable for our 60 m wide B787. However, my non-updated paper version Jepp AD doesn’t have that limit. Our own OM-C lists it as a usable alternate. I checked some other (old) OM-C’s. Quatar approves it for their 777, and Emirates is even happy to put an A380 there. To top that off, British A landed a 787-9 on 12 sept last year at Iqualuit. Generally speaking, i find it very unusual to have a wingspan limit on a long enough instrument landing runway with standard width. Beyond the obvious “in a dire emergency i will put it down anyhere”, i feel that i am missing something here. Anybody any thoughts?


I don't know about Churchill, but we did 747-8 cold weather testing at Iqaluit (I was there - -30 deg C and wind) and my understanding is so did the A380. I also seem to recall a 777 diversion to Iqaluit after an engine failure a few winters back - made news because they had to do an engine replacement there and it took a while. So Iqaluit is obviously capable of 747 operations and probably A380 as well.

Mad (Flt) Scientist
31st Jul 2019, 21:27
Iqualit's runway is 200ft/61m wide. How on earth could there be a narrower limit on wingspan??

Churchill is 160ft/49m. At least a 51m limit there is plausible.

pattern_is_full
1st Aug 2019, 06:10
A mistake is always possible.

But are we sure the limitation is strictly for runway width - or whether, having landed, maneuvering may be problematic? I note a VA 747 that diverted to CYFB in 1996 hit a ramp fuel pump with one engine.

Lot of new construction there 2014-2017 (A380 test was 2006, looks like 747-8 must have been about 2011?) - the gate areas for the new terminal (if actually full of aircraft) don't leave a lot of width for the taxiway.

Churchill is different, with a decent "loop" for getting turned around at the end of RWY 15, but on-the-ramp car parking and other oddities on the main ramp.

Could it also be a tempo restriction due to ongoing construction?

Anyway, some actual aerial views. See any problem areas for big spans?

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Iqaluit+Airport+(YFB)/@63.7558323,-68.5466818,330m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xd062402790514ef3!8m2!3d63.7572 745!4d-68.5444448

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Churchill+Airport+(YYQ)/@58.7280946,-94.056961,1549m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x519cf95adf24e6e4!8m2!3d58.7483 218!4d-94.0752232

Cough
1st Aug 2019, 12:40
CYYQ doesn't have any nominated fire cover... And the loop at the end of 15 seems to be distinctly closed, both on our charts and via the view on google earth. But, on our charts, the wingspan restriction has been removed.

Our CYFB charts notes no wingspan restriction... Can't find the original AIP text entries on NavCanada to check the source documents for either though...

oceancrosser
1st Aug 2019, 17:51
IIRC, CYYQ has limited FIRE cat. and has imposed a wingspan limit of 36m (code C?). Effectively meaning they do not want bigger aircraft in there. But if the proverbial s**t hits the fan, the runway is there. You just can´t file it as an ETOPS alternate.

LookingForAJob
1st Aug 2019, 19:56
Iqualit's runway is 200ft/61m wide. How on earth could there be a narrower limit on wingspan??The taxiways, either wingspan or load-bearing capability, may be limiting for routine ops.

TINHO
1st Aug 2019, 20:28
I think it is a Canadian oddity. Airport CAT is not based on physical characteristics only but also on largest scheduled aircraft type. Your airline would have to check with the airport operator if it can accommodate your type for unscheduled stops. CYBF would accept anything up to A380, no problem. CYYQ is a different story, as mentioned, you could not manoeuvre a large jet around; if you evacuate on the runway, polar bears would eat you as you come off the slides...

KingAir1978
2nd Aug 2019, 18:51
Reminds me of a great video that has been on Youtube for a looooooong time:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrLghyJ_uQA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut--PmAeAMg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPRzHu5hyTs

punkalouver
4th Aug 2019, 07:27
I think it is a Canadian oddity. Airport CAT is not based on physical characteristics only but also on largest scheduled aircraft type. Your airline would have to check with the airport operator if it can accommodate your type for unscheduled stops. CYBF would accept anything up to A380, no problem. CYYQ is a different story, as mentioned, you could not manoeuvre a large jet around; if you evacuate on the runway, polar bears would eat you as you come off the slides...

Seem to remember AF dropping a 777 on YYQ. Polar bears are seasonal. Been down to the beach in the summer. No bears in sight. Fall is the time of year where they are waiting for the water to freeze.