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Swiss Air diversion

Old 5th Feb 2017, 10:58
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Swiss Air diversion

Interesting to see the diversion last week. Iqaluit does not get much traffic but was able to handle a 777 and a 330. They obviously had tow trucks and bars suitable. They also are able to keep the field open at most times.
My question is who pays to have that capability available? Do all these diversion fields have a range of towbars and steps for most big aircraft?
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Old 6th Feb 2017, 09:02
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Logical decision according to this report
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Old 6th Feb 2017, 11:00
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Was not questioning the decision to divert here. My question was that a place like Iqaluit would not normally have 777 (or 340, 380 or whatever) so does not need to have stairs, towbars, tractors to suit. they obviously do. So who agrees what they will have and who pays for it?
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Old 6th Feb 2017, 11:56
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I recall from the early days of using remote diversion airfields that one airport manager retorted that if an A380 diverted to that location, then 'the aircraft would be the terminal'.
This triggered more rational thought about diversions and emergency evacuation in cold climates. I suspect that aircraft manufacturers and operators took great interest and may have propositioned equipment, and assisted with improved facilities.
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Old 6th Feb 2017, 12:01
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They only had one set of stairs for B777/A330s. Pax were offload from the Boeing into school buses, and driven across ramp to Airbus. Stairs towed to Airbus and passengers boarded. Lucky they didn't have a PRM or two.
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Old 8th Feb 2017, 10:52
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Is it not one of the airports frequently used by manufacturers and others to test aircraft in low temperature conditions? No problem with the operational logistics but not so well geared up if the aircraft is full of pax.
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Old 8th Feb 2017, 12:06
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Thanks for the comments
I assume that the manufacturers/operators must be involved in putting stuff in these places.
My thought started with remembering seeing a story of a plane delayed because no towbar was available at a normal field. I think it was an A3456 (Manchester?)
The Swissair plane landed in Iqaluit and needed towing which blocked the runway. If they didnt have a towbar/truck what would have happened? Sure its all managed but was just intrigued who managed putting equipment in these remote diversion fields. As SLF I guess I should just be happy to be on the ground and hope there is still enough wine on board!
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Old 8th Feb 2017, 15:59
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Some aircraft carry their own towbars for exactly this reason. I don't know if this is the case for Swiss but it is possible.
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Old 8th Feb 2017, 21:24
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My understanding is that Boeing (and likely AB), in seeking to reduce limitations on the routes that their ETOPS aircraft could fly, would subsidize the improvements necessary at these remote airports to accommodate diversions. Whether towbars and stairs would be included in these subsidized items is open to question.
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Old 13th Feb 2017, 21:43
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You may also find airlines pay a retainer for handling at possible en-route diversions. They may also locate towbars or towing head adaptors to cater for specific aircraft. But you don't really need that much equipment. Most airports can handle one or two aircraft on self-manoevering stands. Specialist equipment such as GPU's, toilet trucks, water trucks etc. all have standards fittings which leaves boarding stairs. You just need one set adjustable ones.

Emergency towing can be done from the main gear if you don't have a TBL tug. But failing that you shove it off the runway with a bulldozer if you really have to.
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