Atlwarrior
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What are all the factors that goes into deciding which airport receives a diversion?

Wed May 16, 2018 1:05 pm

Forgive my ignorance, but besides available space, timing, fuel, etc. What others factors goes into which airport receives a diversion? I was impress at the number of diversions BWI received yesterday.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: What are all the factors that goes into deciding which airport receives a diversion?

Wed May 16, 2018 1:26 pm

The flight plan will have an alternate airport listed ahead of time. The crew already are prepared to go there in case of inclement weather. The problem arises when the alternate can’t accept the plane. That is when the pilot and dispatch workload jumps.
 
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Polot
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Re: What are all the factors that goes into deciding which airport receives a diversion?

Wed May 16, 2018 1:35 pm

Reason for diverting/Nature of the emergency. If it medical, for example, it may be more suitable to divert the nearest large city than to the closest airport which may be in the middle of nowhere.
 
a/c dxer
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Re: What are all the factors that goes into deciding which airport receives a diversion?

Wed May 16, 2018 1:37 pm

First off you want to try to divert to the closes airport to the destination. That gives the airline and passengers options.

Weather- optimal you want to divert on the backside of the wx but like last night that wasn't a option coming from the southeast. So bwi and iad got the brunt of the diversion.

Passenger and airplane handling is another big concern. But iad and bwi git saturated so after awhile they werent options and flight had to go to RIC and orf.

If international have to make sure the airport has customs. Nothing worse than diverting a flight and nobody can get off the plane.


Those are the big factors besides runway and terminal facility have to watch the big planes no jet bridges or airstairs is other issues. Runway certain airport runways can't handle big planes.
 
N766UA
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Re: What are all the factors that goes into deciding which airport receives a diversion?

Wed May 16, 2018 1:39 pm

Weather!
 
aileron1999
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Re: What are all the factors that goes into deciding which airport receives a diversion?

Wed May 16, 2018 1:49 pm

Atlwarrior wrote:
Forgive my ignorance, but besides available space, timing, fuel, etc. What others factors goes into which airport receives a diversion? I was impress at the number of diversions BWI received yesterday.


As a Captain at a Major Airline I will give you a quick rundown on the decision making process. First let’s assume it’s a domestic flight. The regs require you to carry enough fuel to fly to your intended destination, fly an approach, proceed to an alternate (if required), and thereafter for 45 minutes. What’s important to understand is that this is just a dispatch requirement. Once airborne, you can change your alternate to whatever suites the situation. My company tries to spread diversions around to limit the load on any particular station, however, ultimately the Captain will decide where to divert to. Some things I consider are: 1 where does the company want me to go. 2 what is the weather doing in regards to my divert station, ideally I would try to get on the back side of the weather. 3 past experience at divert station, some are much better than others. 4 maintenance availability. More often than not I will ultimately end up diverting to an airport that was not my original alternate on the flight plan. Weather diversions are extremely dynamic situations. Sometimes I will change an alternate inflight to something that is much closer to my destination thereby allowing me to hold for a longer time. Other times you know that the situation is not going to improve and I will divert early with plenty of fuel. Ultimately you make the best choice possible with the information you have.

Eric
 
Adispatcher
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Re: What are all the factors that goes into deciding which airport receives a diversion?

Wed May 16, 2018 2:58 pm

As said above, diversions, especially for weather, are very dynamic. Plans can change quickly. The closest airport isn't necessarily the most suitable airport. In no particular order, I look for location in relation to the where the weather is moving along with current observations and weather forecast, whether the diversion station is one with service from my airline, fueling, passenger handling, ability to turn the aircraft quickly if there is a block or duty time issue, maintenance and equipment availability if an MEL requires checks on the ground or an air start, NOTAMS/instrument approach availability, familiarity. I'm probably omitting a few.

On top of that, there are a lot of phone calls that need to be made to inform people of the diversion.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: What are all the factors that goes into deciding which airport receives a diversion?

Mon May 21, 2018 4:54 am

a/c dxer wrote:
First off you want to try to divert to the closes airport to the destination. That gives the airline and passengers options.

Weather- optimal you want to divert on the backside of the wx but like last night that wasn't a option coming from the southeast. So bwi and iad got the brunt of the diversion.

Passenger and airplane handling is another big concern. But iad and bwi git saturated so after awhile they werent options and flight had to go to RIC and orf.

If international have to make sure the airport has customs. Nothing worse than diverting a flight and nobody can get off the plane.


Those are the big factors besides runway and terminal facility have to watch the big planes no jet bridges or airstairs is other issues. Runway certain airport runways can't handle big planes.


An alternate airport close to the destination is advantageous economically because it means you have to carry less fuel. From an options standpoint, it actually gives you fewer due to having less fuel to play with.

However, that is just the alternate. As mentioned above, depending on the situation, you may not divert there at all.
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