Browsing Tag: operations

The ORY airport fire department during a training exercise

The ORY airport fire department during a training exercise

Behind-the-scenes airport operations tours are almost always amazing experiences, but Paris Orly Airport (ORY) seems to have set the bar for me with this one. Orly is the second-busiest airport in Paris (after Charles de Gaulle Airport), the 11th-busiest in Europe, and is located about eight miles south of Paris.

An Air France Hop commuter flight departing ORY

An Air France Hop commuter flight departing ORY

It’s a proper international airport and the busiest domestic airport in France. It serves 143 cities, saw a total of 33,120,685 passengers in 2018, and its three runways had 229,654 aircraft movements in 2013, which is the most recent year for which records are available.

A Delta 737 prepares to land as one of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s snow-removal teams waits to cross the active runway

The Seattle area has seen unusually heavy snowfall over the past week – 20.2 official inches of snow over six days. The heavy precipitation has closed local roads and freeways, caused widespread power outages, and generally raised havoc in an area that doesn’t normally receive noteworthy levels of snow. This is the most snowfall seen in Seattle for the month of February since 1916, and we are just half way through the month. 

A de-icing truck unfurls its very long boom in preparation for cleaning the center runway at Sea-Tac Airport.
A de-icing truck unfurls its very long boom in preparation for cleaning the center runway at Sea-Tac Airport

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s (SEA) ever-increasing flight volumes leave little room for weather delays. To contrast with the City of Seattle, which keeps just 35 snow plows on hand for the entire city, Sea-Tac Airport has more than 45 pieces of major snow-removal equipment, including:

  • Nine plow and broom combination units – state-of-the-art trucks with a 24-foot plow that’s as long as a semitruck
  • Two friction testers to measure stopping distance for the runways
  • Three sander/plows
  • Seven high-speed plows
  • Four de-icing trucks for roadways (three 75’ wide booms, one 45’ boom)
  • Additional sand, plow, and chemical trucks dedicated for landside maintenance
  • Pickup trucks with sanders and plows
  • Five snow blowers
  • 10 high-speed brooms
  • Walk-behind snow blowers
  • Lots of snow shovels and brooms and team members ready to work

This week I was able to ride along with airport operations and see what it takes to keep operations at the airport moving.

The waiting area for shuttle buses out of LAX Terminal 4.

The waiting area for shuttle buses out of LAX Terminal 4

On May 16, American unveiled a series of operational and visual updates at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in an attempt to better streamline passenger flow and optimize capacity ahead of the summer travel season. From gate renumbering to new signage, the changes were implemented overnight, in time for the busy Monday morning rush. While there was no media announcement, AirlineReporter was invited to see the changes for ourselves. With AA being spread over two separate terminals and undertaking a large expansion at breakneck speed, something had to be done. Here’s what you need to know…