Re: Fracturing the Pacific

Date:         27 Aug 97 03:57:55 
From: (Filip De Vos)
Organization: University of Ghent, Belgium
References:   1 2 3 4 5 6 7
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Karl Swartz (kls@ohare.Chicago.COM) wrote:

: FAI        Fairbanks, Alaska, US
: CYRB       Resolute Bay, Northwest Territories, Canada
: BGTL       Thule Air Base, Greenland
: ENVA       Trondheim, Norway
: 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.

: Moving into Russia, St. Petersburg, Murmansk, Novosibirsk, and Magadan

A glance at the map (_not an airnavigation one) also yields Archangelsk,
Vorkuta and Norilsk, the arctic nickel-mining centre. Archangelsk was
featured in a recent Airbus ad in The Economist, for a Chicago to Bombay
flight. The A340 would fly this non-stop. (Of course the A340 is not
subject to ETOPS). If Norilsk does not receive Il-86s now, it has done in
the past. Vorkuta is a bleak Soviet-era coal mining town.

: 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.,
I think this criterion is overly narrow.

: While some Arctic ETOPS routes appear to be at best dicey until one
: or more Russian airports on the Arctic Coast are improved, assuming
: they aren't already adequate, it seems to me that many polar routes
: are quite doable under ETOPS rules.  If faster cruise speeds imply

It seems the gradual opening up of Russian airports is a matter of politics
and especially economics. Anyway more openness is to be expected.

The Russians may also allow remaining Air Force bases to be used as
diversion airports. Active bases need less specialised equipment to deal
with airliner emergencies.

Filip De Vos                    I fart in the general direction of
                                anthropic principles... :-)         --   Michael L. Siemon   --