Re: ETOPS for north pole routes

From: (Kim Christensen)
Organization: barely
Date:         21 Oct 96 02:29:22 
References:   1 2 3 4 5 6
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Jean-Francois Mezei <> wrote:

>I beleive that Resolute Bay (YRB - Long: 94 50W lat: 74 42N) is
>capable of handling large jets even though its runway is gravel. It
>handles 737 and 727s easily every day and I was told that a 747 has
>landed there at least once.
>Resolute is some 1713 km from the North Pole.
>There is also Alert at the nortern tip of Ellesmere island (approx
>85 00N, which brings it to about 600km from the north pole). Alert is
>a military outpost closed to the public, but it does handle military
>transports. Could this be considered as a "legal" emergency landing
>point when considering ETOPS routes ?

Forget about Alert. Their runway, navaids and ground facilities are totally
inadequate for anything bigger than a C130.
Resolute Bay is reasonable, but the best choice of emergency alternates
in that region is Thule Airbase (BGTL, 76 32N 68 43W).:
10,000ft asphalt runway, ASR radar, ILS and PAR approaches and complete
fire/rescue and ground support (incl. accommodation for hundreds of
passengers, if necessary) .
Thule routinely handles  B727, DC8, DC10, B767 and military C130, C141, C17, C5,
and has been used several times for unscheduled landings by jetliners on the
polar routes.

Resolute Bay would be a good second choice.
But Alert? No, no, no, no, no!
Drop YLT from your ETOPS calculations and use BGTL instead.