Re: B747 @ FLL

Date:         17 Dec 97 03:43:13 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
References:   1
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>There are plans to expand the south runway at Ft Lauderdale so as to
>accomodate larger planes.. so- for the past two weeks a 747 has made an
>appearance at FLL, parked near terminal number 2. My question is: obviously
>the existing R/W accomodates this 747.. why would a longer runway be
>needed.. can't believe someone would let a 747 land at an airport that
>wasn't quite big enough.. what is the rule here?

FLL's longest runway (9L/27R) is 9,001 feet long.  That's 100 feet
longer than SFO's 1R/19L, which 747's use nearly every day for flights
to places like ORD or IAD.  (Out of 22 SFO-ORD/IAD flights I've taken
on 747s for which I have records, 17 out of 22 departed on 1R.)

However, those are pretty trivial flights for a 747.  For the sorts of
really long flights 747s normally fly (ignoring the Japanese domestic
747s), a 9,000 foot runway is pretty marginal unless you have a really
good headwind.  Since the desire for bigger planes at FLL is probably
in hopes of getting some routes to Europe or Latin America, and not to
simply provide greater lift back to New York or Chicago after spring
break, a longer runway is needed.

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