Binford
Topic Author
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Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:26 pm

Hello Everybody,

is there somebody who can tell me the alternate airport for Southwest Airlines Flight to KLAS? Which alternate airport do they normally file for there flight plans?

Thanks and Greetings
Michael
 
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bluefltspecial
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:30 pm

That would depend on mainly on weather or other variables.
I would expect PHX and LAX to be the primary alternate as they have MX operations at both locations.
Hope that helps.
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Beechtobus
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:38 pm

While I don’t work for Southwest, I have seen IFP (Bullhead City-Laughlin). It’s definitely the “we know you’re going to get into LAS with no problems but we legally need an alternate and we don’t have a lot of extra weight to play with for alternate fuel” alternate.
 
Utah744
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:45 pm

Beechtobus wrote:
While I don’t work for Southwest, I have seen IFP (Bullhead City-Laughlin). It’s definitely the “we know you’re going to get into LAS with no problems but we legally need an alternate and we don’t have a lot of extra weight to play with for alternate fuel” alternate.


Along the same vein ING (Kingman, AZ) would meet the same requirements.
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jetwet1
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:48 pm

Anytime I have been on a flight that diverted it's been too ONT.
 
Brick
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:14 pm

RNO, SLC, ONT, OAK, PHX, LAX, SMF....take your pick.
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UPlog
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:17 pm

Being a pilot I doubt LAS needs an alternate >95% of the time, so they likely dont list one.
If they had to go anywhere suspect its an online station like ONT being the closest.
 
Binford
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:59 pm

Thanks for your replies so far.

UPlog wrote:
Being a pilot I doubt LAS needs an alternate >95% of the time, so they likely dont list one.
If they had to go anywhere suspect its an online station like ONT being the closest.


But they need to file an Alternate in there flight plan or i'am wrong?

Was just curious which airport Southwest uses to file as an alternate for KLAS.

Greetings Michael
 
CATIIIevery5yrs
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:39 pm

Binford wrote:
Thanks for your replies so far.

UPlog wrote:
Being a pilot I doubt LAS needs an alternate >95% of the time, so they likely dont list one.
If they had to go anywhere suspect its an online station like ONT being the closest.


But they need to file an Alternate in there flight plan or i'am wrong?

Was just curious which airport Southwest uses to file as an alternate for KLAS.

Greetings Michael


On the few days a year they legally need to list an alternate for LAS I’m sure they spread it around between SoCal, SLC, PHX, etc. They probably won’t list the same alternate for all of their flights or they’d be hosed if for some reason many of their flights did indeed have to diverate to that particular alternate.
 
N353SK
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:54 pm

Binford wrote:
Thanks for your replies so far.

UPlog wrote:
Being a pilot I doubt LAS needs an alternate >95% of the time, so they likely dont list one.
If they had to go anywhere suspect its an online station like ONT being the closest.


But they need to file an Alternate in there flight plan or i'am wrong?

Was just curious which airport Southwest uses to file as an alternate for KLAS.

Greetings Michael


An alternate is required unless the weather is “good” and the weather is almost always good in Las Vegas.
 
Woodreau
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:55 pm

Binford wrote:
But they need to file an Alternate in there flight plan or i'am wrong?


In the US an alternate isn't required unless the weather is forecast to be less than 2000/3 (ceilings less than 2000ft visibility less than 3 statute miles)

So most of the time for Las Vegas an alternate isn't required just the 45 minute reserve.
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Binford
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:14 pm

Thanks for the Info. Was not aware of that fact.
 
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September11
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:39 pm

LAS is the safest major international airport
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hivue
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:48 pm

Woodreau wrote:
So most of the time for Las Vegas an alternate isn't required just the 45 minute reserve.


So if 45 minutes covers the situation in case the airport is closed (accident, major security incident) why doesn't cover the situation in case of bad weather?
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MSJYOP28Apilot
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:16 pm

N353SK wrote:
Binford wrote:
Thanks for your replies so far.

UPlog wrote:
Being a pilot I doubt LAS needs an alternate >95% of the time, so they likely dont list one.
If they had to go anywhere suspect its an online station like ONT being the closest.


But they need to file an Alternate in there flight plan or i'am wrong?

Was just curious which airport Southwest uses to file as an alternate for KLAS.

Greetings Michael


An alternate is required unless the weather is “good” and the weather is almost always good in Las Vegas.


This is not true. Thunderstorms, strong winds and snow storms are what people consider bad weather. As long as the forecast ceiling and visibility allow for it, I can still legally go to a destination without carrying an alternate even if it has a tornado on the field. It may not be prudent or particularly safe but it is legal.

Airlines also do not have one alternate that gets listed for each airport. If its just a paper alternate to fulfill the regulatory requirements (i.e overcast layer at 1,500 feet when you will never divert for that kind of ceiling) it will normally be the closest legal alternate. But its the dispatcher and pilots decision which one they want to use. For non regulatory alternates or when weather that is forecast is conducive to diversions, alternate will normally try to be spread out to avoid overwhelming one. The caveat to this is that you cant just list any airport. Each one used has to be authorized and meet alternate minimums. If both are not present at a lot of airport, you can easily see certain alternates overloaded when diversions happen.

Also, it it is extraordinarily rare for flights to carry just the 45 min reserve or alternate and 45 minute reserve. Good weather arrival fuel numbers industry wide are roughly 65-85 minutes depending on the complexity of the airport. Bad weather arrival fuels are usually 90 mins to 2 hours with some behind much higher than that.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:22 am

September11 wrote:
LAS is the safest major international airport


Where do you get that tidbit from?
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
e38
Posts: 504
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:28 am

Quoting September11 (Reply # 13), "LAS is the safest major international airport."

Wow, September11, considering that KLAS is located in mountainous terrain, the MSA is 13,200 feet, there is considerable restricted airspace to the north of the airport, and the airport configuration consists of two sets of closely spaced parallel runways, perhaps you could expound a bit on where you came up with this marvel of aviation expertise.

Please!

e38
 
e38
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:48 am

Quoting Binford (thread starter), " . . . tell me the alternate airport for Southwest Airlines Flight to KLAS?"

Michael, the way you asked the question leads me to believe perhaps you think airlines have specific designated alternate airports for the destinations they serve. Some of the answers above are somewhat technical and may be a little confusing.

The answer is: there is not a specific alternate that Southwest uses for Las Vegas. As with many things in aviation, it depends.
First you have to consider the forecast weather(+ or - one hour from your planned arrival time) at your destination. You may not need to designate an alternate airport, but if the conditions are such as explained by Woodreau in Reply # 11, then you are required to file an alternate. Next, you have to consider the weather at the possible alternate airports to determine if the planned alternate airport qualifies as a suitable alternate (I won't go into the specifics of what qualifies as a suitable alternate airport here because it can get somewhat complicated).
Then, there are other factors besides weather that can determine the suitability of an alternate--availability of fuel, maintenance, CFR, passenger handling, distance from destination airport, etc. As other A.net members above mentioned, Bullhead City-Laughlin or Kingman might qualify as suitable alternates in terms of distance and/or weather, but they might not be the first choice due to a lack of other services.

If, indeed, an alternate is required for flights going to Las Vegas, it won't necessarily be the same alternate for every flight. As others have stated, suitable alternates for Las Vegas could include Ontario, Phoenix, Reno, etc.

So to answer your question on which airport serves as the alternate airport for Southwest flights going to Las Vegas, the answer is: it is not the same for every flight, and IT DEPENDS.

I hope this helps a little.

e38
 
Redbellyguppy
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:24 am

I carry an alternate for las more often than you think and it's often for wind and volume in addition to the usual 1-2-3. Ont is usually what I'm filed, but not always.
 
N353SK
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:35 pm

MSJYOP28Apilot wrote:
N353SK wrote:
Binford wrote:
Thanks for your replies so far.



But they need to file an Alternate in there flight plan or i'am wrong?

Was just curious which airport Southwest uses to file as an alternate for KLAS.

Greetings Michael


An alternate is required unless the weather is “good” and the weather is almost always good in Las Vegas.


This is not true. Thunderstorms, strong winds and snow storms are what people consider bad weather. As long as the forecast ceiling and visibility allow for it, I can still legally go to a destination without carrying an alternate even if it has a tornado on the field. It may not be prudent or particularly safe but it is legal.

Airlines also do not have one alternate that gets listed for each airport. If its just a paper alternate to fulfill the regulatory requirements (i.e overcast layer at 1,500 feet when you will never divert for that kind of ceiling) it will normally be the closest legal alternate. But its the dispatcher and pilots decision which one they want to use. For non regulatory alternates or when weather that is forecast is conducive to diversions, alternate will normally try to be spread out to avoid overwhelming one. The caveat to this is that you cant just list any airport. Each one used has to be authorized and meet alternate minimums. If both are not present at a lot of airport, you can easily see certain alternates overloaded when diversions happen.

Also, it it is extraordinarily rare for flights to carry just the 45 min reserve or alternate and 45 minute reserve. Good weather arrival fuel numbers industry wide are roughly 65-85 minutes depending on the complexity of the airport. Bad weather arrival fuels are usually 90 mins to 2 hours with some behind much higher than that.



There’s a reason I put the word “good” in quotes :)
 
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DxerJoe
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Re: Alternate Airport for KLAS

Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:49 pm

Hey everyone. Long time listener, first time caller. Perhaps I can help a bit too and give a dispatcher perspective, since
we usually choose the alternates. (Sometimes the captain calls and has a better idea for one and we go with that as well.)

As others here have said, it really depends on a number of factors. You may have your favorite alternate for an airport.
So for LAS (the airline I work for doesn't go there so this is conjecture) my favorites would probably be PHX/LAX/SMF/SFO/
SLC or something like that. Now which alternate you pick from those may depend on a number of factors. For example, if
it looks like the conditions there are more probable to lead to a diversion, you may pick an alternate that's better for your airline's
operation. That might be PHX or LAX. If you know everybody has picked a certain alternate, you might not pick that one to alleviate
loads on that station's ops. 8 diversions into an airport at one time would be not good so it's best to spread it around. If there's a line of
weather approaching LAS, you may have one alternate on either side of the weather so that if you can get through the weather but can't get
in to LAS, you don't have to go back through it. In that case you may have PHX and LAX both!

If you're flying in at night, you probably want to pick a 24 hour station if at all possible. Smaller out stations tend to go home at night
and the last thing you want is a 737 diverting to some airport in the middle of nowhere only to find that everyone's gone home.

So to echo what others have said, it really does depend on a number of factors.

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