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Yes to third runway at LHR!!

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Yes to third runway at LHR!!

Old 22nd Sep 2002, 08:29
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120.4

The ideal would be to shut LHR and go massive at STN
I think that we are all agreed that LHR is in the wrong place but going 'massive' at STN is surely only going to blight a different area of the South East.

I think that we have just got to get used to the fact that in the UK we do not have vast amounts of available land for these mega airports. We have inherited a situation where most of the major international airports are concentrated in the most populated and congested part of the country and will have to do the best with what we have - even if this means dropping out of the race to have the biggest/best airport.

I would take a lot of convincing that an extra runway at LHR would be necessary just to allow redundancy for the amount of available slots - if we had another runway you can be sure that movements would soon increase and we would be back in the same unsafe situation but with 3 runways.

If there is an unsafe situation due to the amount of movements, then surely slot resrictions are the answer - then maybe the airlines may be persuaded to offer more services from the regional airports.
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Old 22nd Sep 2002, 09:04
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Agreed. Slot restriction is the answer to make sure that this wouldn't happen again but that still leaves us with a 2 runway airport which is handling 3 runway traffic. The fact that we are manageing to shift it off just 2 runways is testament to the prople who do it. (Personally I think we should have been more willing in years gone by to say "no". It is only our willingness to say "yes" that has got us here.)

We did have distribution rules but the government relaxed them back in 1990 (ish) on the grounds of open and fair trade. That would have been a perfectly reasonable decision had there been sufficient growth capacity where it was wanted. It is certainly a fair argument that we are a small island and don't have the room for a huge airports but that is not my point.

My point is that whatever the ideal might be, given that we find ourselves in these circumstances we have to do something about it, now. If they aren't prepared to reduce the number of current slots then they have to build another runway.

Point 4
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Old 22nd Sep 2002, 14:20
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If LHR does get a new runway, I don't fancy doing Ground!

Point 4 is right, year on year there is an gradual increase in traffic. There has been no increase in runway capacity AFAIK, so that means more delays, and traffic still about later on into the night. I can remember only a few years ago Clearance Delivery and Ground could usually be bandboxed on to one frequency between 2130 and 2200, and same went for Arrivals and Departures. Now all four positions are still open at 2200, and the two 'late stays' off the afternoon shift who cover for possible sickness on the night shift more often than not stay on to 2230, or even later, because it is just too busy to bandbox. And that's on a regular day, with no incident/runway closure, bad weather or horrendous slot delays.

Terminal capacity is another, although in some ways related, issue. It wasn't helped by BA bringing a load of long hauls over from Gatwick. T4 is, well, I'm going to use the word 'challenge'! On the ground the other day there were 5 BA 747s and 777s all waiting, with NO stand allocated, let alone just waiting for another aircraft to vacate it! Looked just like a day at Davis Monthan!

Gonzo.
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Old 22nd Sep 2002, 15:51
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Not a very good standard of service is it.

Point 4
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Old 22nd Sep 2002, 17:09
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Having read all the posts in this thread, I can but agree with the saftey issue. Sadly the problem has been outsourced by both the Tories and New Labour. Firstly, by selling off BAA and now NATS. When the prang occurs, they will blame others.

I now make the old chestnut suggestion ... Notholt as a satellite of LHR.

1) To the Environmentalists: No new runways. Reduced holding and taxi times, saving fuel emissions. Less chance of a mid-air. Not one single square metre of new land taken over.

2) To the residents around Northolt: Yes your noise levels will increase, so here is some money. You can take the money and leave or you can take the money and stay. But if you stay SHUT UP!

3) Yes, some property around Northolt will drop which can only be a good thing, as we do not have enough cheap property in that part of London.

4) Some property will actually INCREASE in value, due to the new access and proximity to LHR.

5) Build a new tunnel to main Paddington / LHR Express junction so that you can run dedicated service to Paddington and to LHR. The service from satellite to main will be free for those travelling that day but payable by all others. Since the Express leaves LHR for Paddington every 15 minutes, there is plenty of time to slot in four departures at the mid-point of those departures.

6) The politicos and military get a new tent on the far side of the field so that they don't have to mix with <shudder> real people.

7) Build a new terminal at Northolt, dedicated for anything from J41 sort of twins, through BizJets up to (?) 757/A320 (?) depending upon runway length at Northolt, which I do not know.

8) Build dedicated drop off lines for taxi's/cars which are marked and ruthlessly policed for those that cannot read, "Hand Luggage Only" and "Self-check-in ONLY"

9) Because of the expansion to LHR with T5 and the new satellite, BAA compelled to sell off LGW. That is because the mgmt would be strained by the new work of building and running all of this, not to mention the competition aspects.

Would this assist the ATC and ground handling issues at LHR?

Last edited by PAXboy; 22nd Sep 2002 at 17:14.
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Old 22nd Sep 2002, 17:41
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Question Heathrow extra runway

It has always seemed odd to me that we all have to go through Heathrow (and sometimes Gatwick) to go anywhere internationally.

The UK isn't a very large country in terms of area and distance between major cities and there are lots of airports across the nation.

My home (when I am in the UK) is in Cornwall. There are two perfectly good airfields within reasonable distance from the Duchy. One is Exeter (with full time Customs representation) and the other is Newquay (Saint Mawgan) which can be easily serviced by Customs Officers from Falmouth (indeed, it occasionally is as I can attest from past experience!). The latter is, I know, a military base but it is also a major MDA and has been operating as a regional airport for Brymon/BA for many years. There is absolutely no reason at all why both these airports could not be better utilised internationally.

I'm sure the same goes for countless airports across the country.

Why can't the airlines spread the load more? What is this insistance that they must get as close as possible to central London?

Leave aside the foreign visitors for the moment and just concentrate on the hundreds of thousands of Brits who make their living by working overseas and who, on average, return to the UK on leave two to three times a year. They don't all live near London.

Pprune is read by many in the airline industry. Could we have some feedback from the airlines on this issue perhaps?
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Old 22nd Sep 2002, 21:22
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I think that you will find the problem of running International (Europe or further afield) is simply one of frequency.

For some routes from Exeter (acting as a regional collector) one rotation a week would be all the pax that they could regularly get in one place at one time. The cost of setting up a route for once a week is not going to balance.

For the bizpax to be interested, for say Europe, you have to have a morning and evening rotation to make it possible to do a day trip. If you don't run six days a week, skipping Saturday, then you will not get biz pax in enough quantities.

Brymon, in their independent days, were perfect of course as were other small British operations. They could make their money feeding into LHR and folks could make the connection easily. Everyone was happy.

Then the politicians would not allow a third runway and slots became the currency of the last two decades. BA just kept on buying slots, sorry I mean competing air lines, as they could not buy slots directly. They did this last year with Manx. Shifted the routes to LGW - as they did with Brymon. They then get some long haul slots and immediately ensure that the connecting passengers who might have wanted to go on those flights - have to connect from LGW/LTN/STN/LCY and so start looking around!

Your only hope is that Bristol Lulsgate expands a little further, as you can, I think, connect to it from Cornwall?

I can but say, route the feeding flights to Northolt then you have a short ride on a comfy air-coditioned train to a choice of five terminals for your departures.

On this hobby-horse, does anyone know the sort of percentage split between UK and International at LHR? My thought is that N'holt becomes domestic only, with no customs facilities.
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Old 22nd Sep 2002, 22:30
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Pax at LHR, broadly speaking:

International circa50m (sig. percentage interlining), Domestic circa12m.

The Northolt idea is by no means out of the question. It has been investigated in the recent past . Some of the discussion revolved around the re-alignment of the runway to make it more compatible with LHR.

Point 4
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Old 22nd Sep 2002, 22:41
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Northolt is only 5500 feet so this might pose some operating restrictions..
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Old 23rd Sep 2002, 12:46
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Rail link the airports

Last time the govt said they would build somewhere new, it was on Maplin Sands I think. Quietly during all the political posturing, they were building three lanes of M11 up to Stansted and two beyond to Cambridge. Then guess what? The airport that was developed was Stansted. This time they talk about Cliffe, and all the time a new terminal (I think) and junction improvments are being carried out at STN. It will be STN not Cliffe.

Secondly, there is spare capacity it STN and a bit at LGW. Given that there are not going to be longhaul services out of regional airports in a big way due to lack of demand, we are going to have to go to hub airports. Why not make all three London airports effectively one, but putting a triangular HIGH SPEED rail link between them, which is seamless to the pax (no need to pick up bags etc) and only takes 1/2 and hour and runs regularly (and is free). At the moment getting the bus from LGW to LHR is a real bind and takes ages, if I could do it in 30 mins it is just like a normal transfer and no longer a problem. It would then solve the BA type problems of two hubs and duplication of service. LHR could then become all longhaul and STN and LGW could become all shothaul, with the advantages of airports more tailored to aircraft size.

I think that the government are not brave enough to do this, and another runway or two would be needed to cater for growth and a 'safety bolthole'. Underground tunnels are expensive - but then so are some of the other solutions in other countries such as Kansai.

I used to live in London but now live up north and would be happy to take a regional flight to LGW and transfer to LHR if only it wasn't the pain in the bum it is now.
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Old 23rd Sep 2002, 13:09
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ornithopter raises a good point about the flexibility of transfers. Stansted rail link is a joke. I live in W London, only 10 miles from Heathrow, and it takes over 2 and a half hours to get to stansted(thats before i check in!!)
It takes me 15 minutes to drive to Heathrow, but god forbid I should take public transport....it takes at least an hour on the tube, and the longest it ever took me to get home was 1hr 45 minutes from terminal 1 via the Piccadilly line/district line.
Gatwick is the big surprise. It reliably takes 50 minutes at most times of the day by car, but can take up to 2 hours by Public transport, mainly spent stuck on the way to Victoria station, from where the service is usually pretty decent(and cheap)
My vote is for Northolt to become a domestic only,with a high speed train/road tunnel link to Heathrow. The road tunnel would be used to transport secure checked in baggage to foreign flights, and the train for the pax.
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Old 23rd Sep 2002, 13:17
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It almost certainly will be STN because that is politically the easy option.

However, from the ATC point of view it won't be easy, particularly on easterlies. It is 'easy' enough to get the extra airspace to the north for Westerly ops. but to the southwest there is too much in the way. City outbounds and inbounds, Luton outbounds through The Park and Heathrow/Northolt arrivals on top compressing it all to below 4000alt. That is 2 levels at best and in some areas 1. Vectoring into a cul-de-sac, with no room to orbit downwind, there would be nowhere to go in the event of trouble.

It would be like operating more traffic than Heathrow in half the airspace and bring in the same safety arguments. 4 runways at STN is going to take some major reorganisation of the TMA.

Point 4


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Old 23rd Sep 2002, 19:51
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please god,

I have only one request, if a new runway is to be made at LHR, let it be runway 18 / 36 , not another 27/09 , to avoid the usuale heathrow landing with 32 KTS cross wind component
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Old 23rd Sep 2002, 20:37
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Good point NA and a further indication of how we have been backed into a numbers corner.

It used to be a 15kt crosswind limit on the then 28s before Heathrow went onto 23. Then unwillingness to address the Terminal capacity issue led to the requirement to build the Whiskey stands next to T4. Enforced removal of the ILS made 23 a high workload runway for ATC. The limits were increased to 20kts to reduce the amount of usage and then finally to 25kts to all but stop it. The reason of course is that the headwind reduces the landing rates and thereby upsets the fine balance mentioned before, pushing the traffic back into the night. (One night earlier this year we were still landing 23 at 01:00). So, 20kt crosswind gusting 30, wet runway, foul night... you'll be landing 27L.

Wake vortex is another issue. On calm days it is commonplace to get complaints about w/v, very often between B737s as well as the bigger stuff. It would be prudent to add a mile to the gaps to ensure we don't get a major incident. (Remember the AAL A300 in New York). Why don't we?...

In the ATC Forum there is a post from Scott with a map of Dallas. Five North/South parallels and a pair of cross parallels. That is serious runway redundancy at an airport that is comparable to Heathrow.

My point is not that we have to demolish Hounslow and build Heathrow into a 7 runway moster but that we have to make proper provision for what ever level of traffic that Heathrow is asked to handle. At this time that means a third runway.

Point 4
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Old 24th Sep 2002, 00:07
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Hi .4 can I ask the question in a more direct way ...

If Northolt were to be used as a satellite for domestic work, AND if it were re-aligned, would it help?

I am thinking of what you said regarding the crowding that will occur in the LTMA (I think it is called?) if STN expansion goes ahead. Would Northold give the same problems - or could you route folks to it OK?

Cheers
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Old 24th Sep 2002, 10:05
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Hi PAXboy.

Northolt arrivals through the airways system are already worked by Heathrow Approach. They are released into each of the stacks in the same way as LL traffic and then woven through the LL traffic into a downwind position before handover to WU director. Given that they use LLs airspace they have no impact on the STN, LTN, LCY operations. To many intents and purposes, WU is already a LHR satelite.

However, that all works on a rate of 6 per hour at which it is easy enough to get them released into the bottom of the stack (no "drop through" to be done). Twenty per hour would be more difficult and would require some jigging of the procedures but is unlikely to be as difficult as STN would be.

Heathrow/Northolt has the airspace, Stansted doesn't.

Point 4


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Old 24th Sep 2002, 11:54
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I find it interesting that Northolt has, yet again, raised its head. There are many advantages, most of which have already been described. Similarly, there are a number of expensive problems, not least the fact that the airfield would have to meet CAP168 criteria. However, this is probably far cheaper that knocking down the Holiday Inn! Flow rates could be a problem because, as already stated, Northolt is almost a satellite of Heathrow and all the aircraft use the same stacks and similar SIDs.

The airfield certainly has the capacity and, although only 5500 ft long, it is plenty big enough for BBJs etc to go accross the Pond.
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Old 24th Sep 2002, 18:19
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How about a sweep for how long and how much the planning application take/cost?
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Old 24th Sep 2002, 20:39
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Well, I don't think it will be as bad as might be feared. I say that for a number of reasons:

The T5 fiasco has made it clear that major projects of national importance cannot be allowed to go that way.

I was once told by a member of the DETR's planning team that ministers have realised we are seriously short of runway capacity. In recent media converage the DETR has made it clear that to do nothing is not an option and they cannot allow the issue to drift.

Finally, I think incidents such as the BAW8 09R lander vs the BMA 09R departure have focused the public's mind on the need to do something and when the public see a need for action the politicians are rarely far behind.

Having said that, they may use the threat of another runway at Heathrow to barter for mixed mode, and given that mixed mode will actually lead to an increased loading on each of the runways it will simply make matters worse for us.

Runways are a political issue and so it is certain to be the political choice... STN.

Point 4
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Old 24th Sep 2002, 20:50
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Thanks Point Four.

I see that Northolt (what ARE its IATA/ICAO abbreviations??!!) is only 5,500 feet long. What is the max size of machine that can operate into that size of strip?
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