Re: Fracturing the Pacific

Date:         20 Aug 97 02:38:36 
From:         nareid@online.no (Helge Nareid)
Organization: Telenor Online Public Access
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On 19 Aug 97 04:14:05 , kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz) wrote:

>I agree that BRW is dicey.  Let's try a different set, trying not to
>go too far out on a limb:
>
>FAI        Fairbanks, Alaska, US
>CYRB       Resolute Bay, Northwest Territories, Canada
>BGTL       Thule Air Base, Greenland
>ENVA       Trondheim, Norway
 ^^^^
Living in Trondheim, I just couldn't resist replying to this
post, even though I have to admit that my knowledge of aviation
affairs is rather limited.

Firstly, I don't recognize the code "ENVA". The airport normally
handling civilian traffic for Trondheim is Værnes (or Vaernes), for
which I've only seen the code "TRD". There is, however, a military
airbase close to Trondheim, Ørlandet (or Oerlandet), for which
I don't know the code.

>LED        St. Petersburg, Russia
>MMK        Murmansk, Russia
>OVB/UNNN   Novosibirsk, Russia
>GDX/UHMM   Magadan, Russia
>
>Hopefully we can agree that Fairbanks is viable.  Others have noted
>Resolute Bay as a viable alternate; it's nearly redundant with Thule,
>which UA lists as an emergency airport and which reportedly has more
>than adequate facilities.  Trondheim is already used by UA as an ETOPS
>alternate.

Trondheim airport, Værnes, is a fairly busy airport with mainly
Norwegian domestic flights, and normally doesn't handle anything
bigger than 737s (Braathens SAFE) and MD-80/DC-9s (SAS). It does
occassionally handle 757s and 767s on charter flights. But Værnes
is also a Nato base, and has been built to receive Nato rapid
deployment forces in case of a sudden attack, so it has been known
to receive transatlantic 747s and heavy military transports as part of
Nato exercises. The terminal is fairly new, so the logistics of
handling the passengers from a stranded 777 or 767 could probably be
dealt with without too many problems.

Ørland airport is an active air force base, with an F-16 squadron, and

it is also a base for Nato's Awacs planes. The civilian traffic is
minimal, but I imagine that the base can handle fairly large planes
at need. The civilian terminal facilities are AFAIK rather primitive.

There are also other airports in central and northern Norway which can
handle fairly large planes - also built with rapid deployment of Nato
forces in mind (the immense military complex on the Kola peninsula is
after all quite close). Bodø (BOO), Bardufoss (BDU) and Lakselv (LKL)
spring to mind. As far as I know, Bodø was used as a refueling stop
for the early SAS transpolar flights to Anchorage (and further on to
Los Angeles and Tokyo).

There is also an airport at Svalbard - Longyearbyen (LYR), but I don't
think that can handle anything much bigger than the 737s and MD-80s
flown there by Braathens and SAS. It must, however, be one of the
northermost airports in the world. A Russian airliner crashed on the
approach to this airport about a year ago.

>Moving into Russia, St. Petersburg, Murmansk, Novosibirsk, and Magadan
>all receive regular scheduled service.  I assume, perhaps erroneously,
>that if it's reasonable to plan to fly to an airport, it's reasonable
>to use it as an alternate.  St. Petersburg and Magadan both receive
>scheduled jet service by Western carriers throughout the year (e.g.,
>FRA-LED on LH using 737-300, ANC-GDX on AS using MD-80). The only
>Western service I could find to Murmansk was Finnair (AY) flying
>HEL-MMK with an ATR-72, though Aeroflot takes a Tu-154 in there so it
>can handle a reasonably large aircraft.

Braathens fly 737s between Tromsø (TOS) and Murmansk (BU542/543),
there is also a service between Kirkenes (KKN) and Murmansk by
Widerøe, but they only use DH-8s. SAS fly MD-87s between Stockholm and
Arkhangelsk.

There are probably several military airbases on the Kola peninsula and
in Siberia which can handle aircraft of any size, but I can't imagine
western aircraft being permitted to land there except in the direst
emergencies.

- Helge Nareid