Sunday, June 7, 2015

Shot of the day: 4 of a kind

There was a time when having four A380s on the ground at LAX was kind of a big thing. Some time later, I can remember the first time I had four A380s moving on my frequency at one time. Now, it's not even that big a deal to have four of them at the runway for departure. This is kind of a bigger thing than it seems, though, because the runway and parallel taxiway are so close together that if we have an A380 departing, any other A380 on the parallel taxiway must be within the first 1,500 feet of the beginning of the runway. As a result, the ground controller either has to meter out the A380 departures one at a time, and hold the other(s) back, or get all of them out there all at once, which is what you see here. This is a normal cluster of A380 departures that usually happens around 4 PM, although we don't normally get all four of them leaving at exactly the same time; however getting three of them together is pretty common. If it had been just a few minutes earlier, there could have been a fifth A380 in the picture, as Emirates has just arrived on runway 24 Right.


  1. Can A380s depart from RWY 24R ? This would solve the TWY restriction. If other aircraft can land on 24L while the A380 is lined up, there need not even be an interruption in the approach stream.
    What is the distance between the centerlines 24L and Echo? (I recall having asked you the same question about
    the separation of the runways :)
    I hear nothing any more about plans to move 24R, allowing a centre taxiway to be built. Are NIMBYs ( or BANANAs ) really so powerful in your neck of the woods?

    The blast fence behind Victor looks really low.
    And those cables lying on the roof of T2 look really sloppy.

    1. Filip -

      Ry24R is not available for A380 departures. They can land on it (and Ry06L). I don't know the official distance between the Twy E and Ry24L centerlines, but a quick estimate via Google Maps gives me about 400 feet (122 meters).

      The election of a new mayor brought all the runway relocation stuff to a screeching halt. All that green just outside the airport fence is a country club golf course, and most of those homes are close to a million dollars. They have no desire to see the airport getting any closer to them than it already is.

      That blast fence can't be very tall because it's under the wings; the outboard cowlings of the A380 look like they get pretty close to it too. But it doesn't need to be all that high; it's main purpose is to protect vehicles on the access road between taxiways D and E, and the personnel and equipment working the ramp at the north end of terminal one.

      This is one of those places where my photos are somewhat deceiving: Remember that nobody else is able to see the roof of terminal two - except perhaps for passengers looking out the window as their airplane doesn't land.

  2. Nice!! I love the new VIR B789 at gate 31 also!

  3. Nice!! I love the new VIR B789 at gate 31 also!

  4. Replies
    1. Yup, the Virgin Dreamliner is a recent arrival at LAX; I did a post on it last month: