Friday, November 21, 2008

Three New Runways

This ought to help in the future.

New runways open at 3 of nation's busiest airports

”Seattle-Tacoma International Airport's new runway is being especially welcomed because of the region's notoriously wet climate. The airport's third runway will allow planes to take off and land two abreast during inclement weather. The current runways are too close to allow simultaneous operations in foul weather. Airport officials claim the new runway will cut delays in half. “

These three runways give you a good idea on all the little details that can make or break an airport as far as capacity. For example, the new runway at Chicago is only 7,500 feet long. That is really short for a place like ORD and will limit the type of aircraft that can use it. The new runway at Dulles is missing some taxiways -- at the moment.

” However, the new Dulles airport runway may not be of much benefit at the start.

Controller Chris Sutherland, the NATCA representative for the Potomac Consolidated Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), explained that because only one taxiway has been completed, planes that land heading north must roll to a stop, turn around and taxi more than a mile and a half to the taxiway, costing the airlines both time and money.

"Bottom line, the users are going to fight us tooth and nail if we try to land them on that runway out there," Sutherland said. The airport also does not have the technology necessary to use all three parallel runways in inclement weather, he said. “

Still -- all in all -- new runways are good news and CNN did a good job or packing in a lot of information in the article.

Don Brown
November 21, 2008

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