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Short runways airports and business jets

Discussion in 'Airports & FBO's' started by Damien, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. Damien

    Damien New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Hi everyone,
    I have a question for which I didn't find the answer.
    This website published news like https://www.jetforums.net/threads/news-lcy-steep-approach-trials-for-gulfstream-g650.2764/ where we see big business jets approved or in process of approval to use LCY.
    My question is : how a gulfstram G650 or even a Falcon 7X (already approved for LCY) can take off from LCY if the runway is only 1,508 metre (4,948 ft) long while the aircraft specifications (according to manufacturer website) say:
    * For the Gulfstream G650 : Takeoff Distance (SL, ISA, MTOW) 1786m - 5,858 ft
    * For the Falcon 7X : Take Off Distance (SL – ISA, Max Take Off Weight) - 5,710 ft / 1,740 m
    Both take off distance being much higher than the runway length.
    I will be very grateful if someone can share the answer.
    Thank you
    Damien
  2. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    120
    The Take Off Distance required has to be calculated for every individual Take Off. One of the figures for this calculation is the actual Take Off Weight. Means, in case of an shorter runway available, one has to reduce the MTOW by a lower amount of fuel and / or less payload (pax / baggage). From personal experience I can tell You, the Gulfstream 650 ER for example, with fuel for 1.500 NM plus IFR reserve and 4 passengers can easily and safely (and by the books) take off from any 5.000 ft runway at SL. But who would use LCY as the departure field for an intercontinental flight.

    On the other hand, LCY has a runway length of 1.508 Meter between the stripes plus an overrun / acceleration strip on both ends of the runway. So the actual runway length available for take off and landing by the books, is always more than 1.600 meters.

    But the biggest problem for pilots and aircrafts at LCY is the 5.5 degree glide slope and the required climb gradient for clearing obstacles and for noise reduction. Especially some Jet aircraft have problems keeping the approach speed low enough, even at idle power. You need inflight usable spoilers or airbrakes. Plus some jet engines have have a pretty high spool up time from flight idle to full power, which may be a factor during a missed approach. Therefore every individual type of aircraft and crews have to be certified / checked out for LCY prior commencing opperation to and from this airport.

    I have taken my Cessna Citation CJ 2+ (FADEC Engines) several times single pilot in and out of LCY but found this airport to be to costly and not very practical for owner operations, because of the very limited parking space at the GAT ramp. Crews have to be on stby for very short notice removal of the a/c from the airport, if the parking spot is needed for somebody (more important :)) else.

    I rather fly into Biggin Hill (EGKB), just south of London. Much better and much more friendly service at lower costs and travel into the City is not much longer and the available helicopter transfer to the City Helicopter Field at the River Thames is just 6 min. Last time I flew into Biggin Hill, it took me 45 min from leaving the aircraft to the Hotel in the City of London.

    A VIP may find his aircraft after landing at LCY at Biggin Hill anyhow, so why bother going into.

    Just my 2 (Euro) Cents
  3. Damien

    Damien New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Thanks a lot for your prompt reply. This was perfectly answering my question.
    Actually I took the example of LCY as it was a "famous" airport known for its short runway but my question was more general for airports with short runways like the ones in some Polynesian airports like Nuku Hiva Airport IATA: NHV which also have short runways of about 1 700 m (5 577 ft) but I guess the same answer applies: Play on the MTOW on Gulfstream 650 ER and you'll be able to safely take off from this location as well.

    Thank you
    Damien