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Quito: What's in store?

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Quito: What's in store?

Old 23rd Sep 2012, 03:49
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Quito: What's in store?

So yeah.

Hello, first post.

Brief introduction; I am 'on the line' on A320/319's as F/O, and fly for a company based in Quito, Ecuador.

Yesterday I got my hands on the first publication of the data and procedures for the new Quito Airport. For those of you out there who fly to Quito, you might find this interesting. For reference only, I concocted this image of the Quito area and a sample of the VOR/DME approach to RWY 36. There are (presently) only two approach procedures, both very similar, the difference being that the other one is ILS/DME. I was thinking of scanning the plate(s) and posting them, but I think I am being naughty enough as it is.



The opening of the airport is scheduled for February, 2013. Whether it meets that deadline or not remains to be seen, as the previous deadline was for October 2012, but it became evident it was not going to be, about two months ago.

Some characteristics;
Runway: 36/18
Threshold Elevations: 36 - 7910 ft, 18 - 7776 ft
Slope: 1% (36 down, 18 up).
Dimensions: 4098 x 45 meters

The political blurb has been stating to the public that the new airport will enable airlines to carry more passengers and cargo out of Quito, as it is "400 meters" lower, and the runway is "nearly 1000 meters longer" than Quito's current airport.

<Ahem> I have my own views and perspectives...

What do you think? I honestly would like to know.

Whatever it is, it is sure to be as scenic. Happy landings (and take offs), all.
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Old 23rd Sep 2012, 11:30
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Sounds reasonable, 1.000m longer TODA and 1.200ft lower PA, not bad....
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Old 24th Sep 2012, 04:28
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Thanks for the interesting post.

I've been to Quito once in my career. Now I'm even more grateful for the experience.

One of my few regrets is having never experienced the "old" Hong Kong airport.

I hope the new Quito airport yields everything that has been promised.
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Old 24th Sep 2012, 14:26
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zerozero:

I hope the new Quito airport yields everything that has been promised.
Seems like the missed approach/departure/OEI issues would be worse, because you have to clear the same terrain, only starting from a lower elevation.

The present airport works quite well for those who can use the two RNP AR approach procedures.

What the new airport could perhaps do is enable lower ILS minimums, albeit with a climb gradient missed approach.
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Old 24th Sep 2012, 17:02
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Originally Posted by aterpster
Seems like the missed approach/departure/OEI issues would be worse, because you have to clear the same terrain, only starting from a lower elevation.

The present airport works quite well for those who can use the two RNP AR approach procedures.

What the new airport could perhaps do is enable lower ILS minimums, albeit with a climb gradient missed approach.
Hmm. I see your point.

I had a hard time comparing the graphic data offered above with my recollection of what current operations look like.
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Old 24th Sep 2012, 19:44
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I question the lower altitude/temperature factor for day flights in this region.
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Old 27th Sep 2012, 02:41
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Thanks for the comments, all.

aterpster,
Seems like the missed approach/departure/OEI issues would be worse, because you have to clear the same terrain, only starting from a lower elevation.

The present airport works quite well for those who can use the two RNP AR approach procedures.

What the new airport could perhaps do is enable lower ILS minimums, albeit with a climb gradient missed approach.
This is what I had in mind, and have had since construction began in 2006. Actually, a little more tending towards some concern for the EOSIDs. For the purpose of the post I will establish a couple of conditions;

V2 = 140 KIAS = 167 KTAS (at Quito on an 18C day)
15 bank turn radius at V2 = 1.7 nm (there abouts)

Please forgive me that I used Google Earth, I know it is not the done thing but it is a useful tool for a general preview like this. I have not the time to drive around the valley in a 4x4 recording all the high terrain points, even though granted it would be a nice day out! Okay? With those conditions, here is our EOSID 35 turn out of the current Quito airport, out towards Azcazubi NDB.



Take no notice of Google's slope gradient figures in the graphic, they are pretty meaningless. What I was after were the elevation points. Let's start. As can be seen, there are no points higher than the ARP elevation itself along the second segment path. Our gross gradient can happily remain at the regulatory 2.4% minimum without any problems. The highest point along the path occurs at 7.18 sm (37,910 ft), and is 69 ft lower than the threshold of RWY 17. That's a -0.09% gradient, including the 35 ft for the net climb requirement. Dandy. It has actually been done, not two years ago, without further incident, apart from the engine failure itself, of course.

Now I cannot actually show you all the pattern of our Company Return EOSID 35, but I will provide a vertical profile of it here...



A whopping 62 sm pattern that eventually strings into the Number 4 QIT-VOR-DME-ILS Approach to Quito RWY 35. The highest point is actually 10,180 ft (it is an antenna), and is located at the highest point in the profile posted above, 56.7 sm along the path. That's a 0.32% climb gradient requirement to be accomplished from lift off to that point.

Now let's take a look at the new airport initial gradients, on about 10 to 11 sm paths. First, straight ahead (towards the Mojandas mountain).



That is 992 ft over 11 sm. A 1.7% gradient, without considering the additional 35 ft net climb screen. The terrain still keeps rising after that. Now, try a right turn out.



That is 830 ft over 10.3 sm, a 1.53% gradient. Don't forget the climb degradation during the turn, also. This is beginning to look like a very second segment penalized airport, to me. And finally a left turn out.



3.89% gradient, being that a gain of 1,336 ft over 6.5 sm, along the path. It gets even higher if the turn is of a wider radius.

I hope I am not boring you all. What's my point? It is a question, but first this.

Sure, it will be an operable airport. But it is still a hot and high altitude airport, with some prominent topography in all quarters, and needs to be respected as such. I should not be bothered, really. I fly into Cuenca almost every day. That said, however, Mariscal Lamar airport (at Cuenca) has a pretty short runway, and the MTOW limitations for THAT characteristic practically guarantee that the required climb gradients are already catered for (to an extent).

And, if you will and remain interested, have a read of this publicity.

New Quito International Airport Starts Operating February 20th 2013 | Ecuador Guide | Ecuador & Galapagos Islands

Now, finally, my point. Does anyone really in the know of these things really think they will get more weight into the air from this airport? If someone sees something that I don't, please point it out. I would be grateful, as I am going to have to do my job of work from here very soon, and the newspapers around here are still insisting that more freight and passengers may be taken out per flight, due to improved characteristics. International carriers will operate based on their own analysis of the runway, and will not be a party to proving this hypothesis in practice. But those of us here.. (umm, you'd better take me away now).

I think that is all I really wanted to say, except, Thanks for your patience if you got this far. I am not a prolific "poster", but I did want to share this one, and see some comments.

As always, enjoy your flights! Bye, now.
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