Monday, May 28, 2012

Five in one day

Okay, I know this is really what you all tuned in to see, so here it is:

AirFrance 66 arrives on runway 24 Right

However, Air France was our fifth A380 of the day. It started shortly after sun up with Qantas:

And then another one:

Next to arrive was Korean:

Followed by Singapore:

Thanks to UR for taking this one. As an aside, this is the first time I can recall seeing the Singapore A380 on the south side of the field, although it will certainly become much more common. As I may have mentioned before, we try very hard to "pro-park"* the A380s because of the hassle they create once they're on the ground. The simplest gate for A380 operations is 123, at the north end of the TBIT, as it creates the least disruption to the rest of the traffic. As such, most A380 arrivals occur on runway 24 Right, with subsequent departures from runway 24 Left. However, if there are two A380 flights at the same time, the second one goes to gate 101 at the south end of the TBIT, which dictates a runway 25 Left arrival. A third A380 either waits for one of the others to leave, or heads out to the remote gates at the west end of the airport. There are several out there that can handle the A380; so far I've only seen us do that once with Qantas, and they went to gate 216.

Things got interesting this afternoon, as both Singapore and AirFrance arrived about ten minutes apart, and before either of their respective gates were available:

Singapore waits for gate 101, while at the same time . . .

. . . AirFrance waits for gate 123. At this point, there were five A380s on the ground at LAX!

But finally, the moment everyone was waiting for, as our inaugural AirFrance A380 flight arrived at the Tom Bradley International Terminal:

* - Pro-park is an internal term we use to coordinate with approach control to put arriving aircraft on the apPROpriate side of the airport for where they park. Freighters and aircraft parking at Terminals Four through Eight will (ideally) arrive on the south side, while aircraft for Terminals One, Two, and Three will land on the north side. Of course, that only works when approach control knows where they park and has the room to shuffle them back and forth; when things get busy they go to whatever runway is easiest for them to get to, regardless of their destination on the airport.


  1. Thanks for the photos of AF. I am glad the airport had the good idea to put the electric signs on Sepulveda notifying pax that AF 65/66 would be at TBIT.

  2. Incredible photographs! I wish I could have seen the water cannon solute in person! It's always remarkable to see A380's neanderthalling around the airport when I have the chance to catch them. Great work to you and your co-workers choreographing them around the airfield.

  3. Interesting bit about pro-parking. Though what about when taking off? I have been on aircrafts parked on the north side of the airport that had to taxi to 25 to take off. Are there reasons for that?

  4. With 5 A380s coming to LAX I can see why LAWA wants to get gate 134 in service as quickly as possible