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A380 Continues To Pose Challenges For Heathrow

When I first saw the headline, I thought the article would be about too many passengers arriving at overcrowded terminals. The challenges the article discusses is actually quite different... ( More...

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rick graves 4
Incredibly interesting story. Thank's to the poster. Disclaimer: I don't work for Boeing.

Really do's show why Heathrow needs that 3rd runway but may not happen in my lifetime.
steve rogers 3
bigger planes more traffic will force all airports to revamp , or they will loose , its the natural course of things
josephkl 3
The amount of fuel dumped and burned on top London by the queuing flights itself is enough reason to build a third runway or new airport - whatever is that. Hope those crying against these will open their eyes and ears soon!
Steve Pearce 3
Birmingham is the obvious solution, there are fairly detailed plans for the airport, it links directly to HS2 and the motorway network, and will be less than an hour from London and within 2 hours drive of something like 40 million people. No other airport in the UK gets close.

And Birmingham wont require a 20 lane tunnel underneath the runway...!

But the government want London, with its hopelessly crowded airspace and massive noise issues, to be the focus of everything. Quite where they expect all of the air traffic to go once the new runway opens i have no idea. They'll be stacking over the Atlantic, before long...!
Birmingham isn't London!
i would love to fly in a a380
thomas hess 2
i agree with patrick and reid, the a380 was a very comfortable coach! i flew syd-sin (singapore air)on the upper deck y class and there was a ton of room compared to other long haul aircraft. i had a window seat, and the armrest opened up to reveal an expansive storage area inside the wall. plenty of legroom and the seats were a bit wider than my usual 777 flights.

it was a unique experience and i would choose the 380 any day of the week. im sure singapore's attention to detail and great service played a part in this!
Pat Barry 0
Go sit in a crowded movie theater for 15 hours - probably sitting next to a person who hasn't bathed in days - eat fatty, poor food, sleep sitting bolt upright. Then pretend you are dealing with baggage claim and customs/immigration for an hour or more, then deal with getting a taxi and getting to a hotel.
That's equivalent to flying on an Airbus A380, and less expensive.
Airbus has enhanced the term 'cattle car' with the A380. It looks good in the advertisments but the reality is very different.
I have flown in the A380 from Incheon to Frankfurt and back. It is comfy, for sure. The Korean Air had a person swabbing down the 'loo' between each visitor, and this is in economy. The upper deck of all business and 1st class must have had some incredible service if the economy was that attentive to passenger needs. Otherwise, it's just another really big airplane.
Ne dites pas de bêtises Pat Barry, vous n'avez certainement jamais voyagé à bord d'un A380! Je fais régulièrement la ligne PPT-LAX-CDG, B767 ou A380 Air France,je peux vous dire qu'en classe économique, les sièges d'un A380 sont plus spacieux que sur le B767, aucune comparaison et les vols sont de 8h PPT-LAX et 11h LAX-CDG! Et pour tout dire le confort du B767 est déjà bien suffisamment confortable. A380 loin d'être une bétaillère! Et les places sont au même prix! Non vraiment vous n'êtes pas honnête dans vos propos. Le fait de ne pas s'être lavé pendant plusieurs heures se rapporte aussi bien à une personne voyageant sur un B767 pendant le même nombre d'heures et mangeant tout autant! Passez à LAX l'immigration prendra autant de temps que vous arriviez avec n'importe quel avion, je le dis par EXPERIENCE!
preacher1 1
Google translate:
Do not be silly Pat Barry, you have certainly never flown on an A380 ! I regularly PPT- LAX- CDG line , B767 or A380 Air France , I can tell you that economy class seats A380 are larger than the B767 , no comparison and flights are from 8am PPT -LAX 11am LAX- CDG ! And to tell the comforts of B767 is already comfortable enough . A380 far from a cattle ! And the streets are the same price ! Not really you are not honest in your comments . The fact of not having washed for several hours can refer both to a person traveling on a B767 for the same number of hours and eating just as much! Go to LAX immigration will take as much time as you get with any plane, I say this from EXPERIENCE !
Gene spanos 4
Problem here is that many do believe that the U.S. based airlines own the skies.
Guess what they don't sir. S.1956 gave the the kicker not to have to pay the EU Carbon landing fees.....well it's only been two year....where's the volunteer reduction efforts to help reduce the metric tonnage of toxic jet fuel emissions ?
Lastly, it's great to see that UPS saved $ 4 Million in landing fees from ORD and moved over to RFD. Yet in another twist...UPS is talking to the Heavy Rail Road folks for shipping.
preacher1 2
UPS has been a Top railroad Customer for years, hence the new yards near the railheads in Chicago and out on the West Coast.
Stupid politics will make airlines by pass London altogether soon. And if they want to build a new airport in the Thames estuary the biggest bird sanctuary in Europe, then the really are that stupid.
robin cooper 1
whereas i do think it is essential for LHR to get another runway, i do not think it that simple, the ATC around that part of Europe with LHR, LGW, DeGaul, Schipol, Frankfurt, Munich, must be a total nightmare
Robin Cooper
canuck44 1
See below...this just became much more difficult with one of the legions of government committees nixing the idea...which is probably the best for long term needs. It will be a long fight to get it done.
David Kay 2
Land them at another airport.
How about London City Centre?....jk :)
harold smith 1
London city is like landing on an aircraft carrier. Way to short for the big boys
rick graves 1
Not that easy - you need to have special gates, taxi-ways and other things. I don't believe Gatwick is A380 compliant.
Cactus732 1
Emirates fly the A380 on one of their daily LGW-DXB services so they must have at least 1 compliant gate.
If Heathrow wants A380 services as the major hub these aircraft were designed for, then they should begin closing the runways to the shorthaul services during the early morning A380 traffic as they increase further with BA, EMIRATES, QATAR, SINGAPORE, QANTAS and soon VIRGIN wanting to fit in at a critical time of the day.

Local residents shouldn't worry so much about noise as these beasts are deceptively quiet when on approach to land and I am sure local road traffic is noisier.

As for the matter of BHX, the airlines can do worse with their early UK arrivals, land these quiet giants without fuel dumping and constant circling the English channel, get through customs and immigration and on a fast nonstop train to London faster than the tube to Hyde Park from a congested Heathrow., note that I am speaking of the pre dawn arrivals when BHX is quiet.
preacher1 1
That makes more sense than anything but I don't think common sense is going to prevail here. Methinks what ever politicians in power that can get something physically started, as in moving dirt, is going to prevail, regardless of the airport.
John Reilly 2
Increasing numbers of people I know on this side of the world (New Zealand) who make an annual pilgrimage to visit our UK grandchildren, chose to enter and exit Europe through errr Europe. In our case, France. If that trend develops we should see some reduction on the pressure at Heathrow.
preacher1 3
Naturally, a new airport somewhere with all the bells & whistles is going to be the answer but it seem as if the urgency to choose a site and start construction has left the matter and it is just languishing around, going nowhere. For the time being, if they would just remove that curfew and make it a true 24 hr operation, a few schedule tweaks would solve the 380 problem as well. By having the noise in again, it should move the matter of a new airport back to the front burner. Realizing all that is probably wishful thinking but that opinion is as good as any that is out there. The other thing is that is all to simple and the noise would inconvenience some which is why there is a curfew in the first place. They cannot say they are operating on knife edge and at 98/99% capacity when a third of the day goes unused.
chalet 1
Give them pax parachutes and the 380s won't have to land there LOL!!!
preacher1 0
Sounds like a plan. Since I ain't I'll vote for it. LOL
David Kay 1
Manchester? If the smaller planes can't be offloaded to other airports, then Heathrow is in trouble. Poor weather must muck things up a bit. How about staggering arrival and departure times for the A380s, or aren't travelers flexible?
Pat Barry 0
You can't schedule weather and winds aloft - the planes fly at best fuel (unless they are behind schedule and need to go faster) so they typically cruise at the same speed at cruise altitude and arrive at the destination when they get there - and the controllers have to deal with it.
canuck44 1
Unfortunately one of the Government appointed "Committees" just nixed the "Thames Airport" supported by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London. It would have been built with four parallel runways much like the Hong Kong airport by filling in parts of the Thames. With no remaining viable open area plan, LHR and LGW will continue to flounder.
Does anyone have info on a prototype B-52 landing at Kimpo, South Korea airport at night in 1953, perhaps later than '53? A now passed on USAF vet electrician was working on landing lights when it landed, was questioned about what he saw, was classified, and it refueled and left the same night.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Dave Krogman 12
I was unaware that the FAA had assumed operational ASP responsibility for Heathrow. Did anyone infomr NATS? I'm sure they would be greatly relieved. Or did you just need to spew out a spam answer with snark about the FAA?


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