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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11978) 9 years ago
Miles City and Lewistown may be losing air service because the U. S. Dept. of Transportation has moved against them due to low ridership. You can find the order at http://www.regulations.gov and entering DOT-OST-1997-2605 in the search field.

The state Essential Air Service Task Force is meeting tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. at the Billings airport to discuss the issue. The City is holding a meeting on Monday at 5:00 p.m. at City Hall.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 9 years ago
Elections have consequences. You voted for smaller government in Custer County. Bon Appetit!
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Posted by howdy (+4950) 9 years ago
Now the fare from Denver to Billings is huge...Well over 300 round trip and above...
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Posted by Renegade (+65) 9 years ago
I really don't think the voting results in Custer county have anything to do with federal decisions.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11978) 9 years ago
This was from the US Dept. of Transportation. First time anyone knows of that they started the procedure to shut down an EAS airport. Usually, it's the provider who starts the action and when I contacted Silver Airways, their media guy had no clue what I was talking about.

Yes, probably the result of sequestration and all that. You always assume the other guy will get clobbered, not yourself. Mind you, I haven't been in a airplane is like eight years.
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Posted by coffeedrunk (+53) 9 years ago
I am kinda with you Richard noggin, this must be Butch's and the city councils fault. Nothing to do with the federal government or Obama. I even think Butch had something to do with the Kennedy assasination.
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Posted by David Schott (+17519) 9 years ago
I'd ask for a review of the cost per passenger. These planes will continue to serve points east of Miles City (Glendive, Sidney)? Is the added cost of a stop in Miles City really as great as they purport? How much of the subsidy, if any, goes to supporting ground operations (TSA, for example) in Miles City?

What impact beyond passenger service -- emergency medical shipments, etc. -- might this have?

What impact will this have on the airport itself? Loss of funding for maintaining the runways? I believe the Miles City Airport provides one of the better runways for emergency landings in the region. If the airport fails to maintain its current level of service, could it pose a risk to other commercial passenger flights overflying southeastern Montana?
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11978) 9 years ago
If you go to the web site, you can enter comments directly. I will be listening to the EAS meeting at 11:00 a.m. today and may have more to report later.
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Posted by M T Zook (+510) 9 years ago
As a former resident with huge family ties to the area, and working in the airline industry, it hurts to see a blow to my local airport. I will say that I have not flow commercial into Miles since the change over from Great Lakes to Silver Airways, mainly due to the change in route structure with no direct flights to Denver. Silver has a Montana-lateral only type of route structure that simply doesn't work for a lot of people.

As far as Miles City being a viable divert option in an emergency for commercial service, quite simply, it isn't. The runways are relatively short, especially when considering the altitude of the airport. Coupled with the current runway weight limits, there are very few jets that can use the field. The ones that have the performance capabilities weigh too much, the ones that are lighter need more runway. That leaves it only to the lighter props and corporate jets who can use the field. Also, there are no precision instrument approaches in Miles City. When the weather is really down, say visibility less than a mile, you can't get in.

At the end of the day for me personally, I hate to see the service go, even if it doesn't work for me, but I also hate to see our government waste money. There is no easy or right answer unfortunately.
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Posted by David Schott (+17519) 9 years ago
Some number of years ago I read in either the Miles City Star or the Billings Gazette about a commercial flight that almost made an emergency landing in Miles City but ultimately landed in Billings. It may have been this incident here:

http://billingsgazette.co...9c0c4.html

I remember thinking at the time it would have been quite a sight to see that aircraft attempt landing at Miles City. And if they had, how would they deplane (emergency evacuation slides?) and what would they do with the plane once it was on the ground. Dismantle it? Could it take off on Miles City's runway with no passengers or cargo and minimal fuel?

If someone were to look at the October 4 or October 5, 2006, Miles City Star you might find a story that says that flight gave consideration to landing at MLS.
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Posted by Kacey (+3154) 9 years ago
I know that all the small towns around Miles City use the airport for medical flights. My grandson flew out of Miles City on a St. V Billings plane. We need to maintain an airport for people's safety, if not for passenger flights.
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Posted by David Schott (+17519) 9 years ago
I wouldn't want to be on that aircraft attempting to land in Miles City but in a pinch I'd be glad to have Miles City's ~1730 meter runway.

Boeing 757-200
Takeoff : 2377m, Landing : 1544m
7,400km with 186 pax

Quoting the site where this info came from:

"Here is a list of some aircraft takeoff/landing figures. Not a full list but will be updated. Other aircraft types will be added later.

They are all sea level/ISA figures, included typical pax loads
(usual 2/3 class split depending on type) and ranges for this takeoff length.

Based on most common engine choice so published figures can be variable with different engine options. Range figures included which incorporate maximum tankeage at this airfield performance, on some aircraft this means the fitment of additional tanks at the detrement of cargo capacity.

Therefore this may clash with some figures you have seen published as they normally only list range on standard max fuel."


http://www.airliners.net/...?id=926931
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17731) 9 years ago
If you want something to blame, blame the sequestration.

If you want someone blame for the sequestration, don't blame President Obama or Speaker of the House Boehner.

Blame the Tea Party caucus of House Republicans.

Richard is right. Y'all want limited government. Here it is, back atcha.
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Posted by M T Zook (+510) 9 years ago
The runways are not built to support that kind of weight for a plane like that. Miles City runways are stressed for 85,000. A landing 757-200 typically weighs just shy of 198,000. Now if they were enroute, say from New York to Seattle, and needed to divert, odds are they are well over that weight for fuel not burned.

The 757 absolutely CAN stop in the distance available, but the runway would be wrecked and they would have to disassemble and truck it out. Also, the simply fact is the pilots don't have charts, the airport isn't in the flight computer data base, outside of local knowledge they wouldn't know it existed. At altitude, enroute, faced with a major emergency, the pilots would choose a different option in all but the most catastrophic and extreme circumstances. Even then, it would take vectoring and visual conditions prevailing to attempt a landing. I don't know how low radar coverage is around there, but I would guess that Salt Lake Center (the controlling air traffic control facility) doesn't have radar coverage below 10,000. The scenario is just too far-fetched for a major airliner today.

As far as the Gazette article goes... A 757-200 typically holds 168-175, depending on configuration, a 757-300 holds 213. Who knows if they attempted Miles City. I am glad they didn't land.

The Miles City Airport won't go away. It isn't just going to close because Silver quits flying there. There will still be on demand charters and doctors and hunters and the usual business that comes and goes. I am sure BLM will continue to stage equipment there in the summer for fire fighting. I wish the community college would start a flight course, find the money to install a precision instrument approach and runway upgrades. It would be nice to get some of the oil money floating around and put it into the airport infrastructure before it is all gone again.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10040) 9 years ago
We've had some major shake ups to air service here. Since we are not on the road system, air travel is about the only game in town. What we've found so far, is that as scheduled service is disappearing charter companies are coming in to provide service. Interestingly enough, the charter carriers are moving freight and passengers at slightly lower rates than the scheduled carrier was. So far the charter operations are reputable concerns with as good a safety record as there is in the Bush.

So while it is nice have scheduled / seat fare service, you likely will have options. Plus you folks do have roads, as inconvenient as that might be ; -)
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11978) 9 years ago
There was supposed to be an airport commission meeting Monday to discuss this issue but I've been told--and haven't been able to confirm--that it has been cancelled. The evening meeting at City Hall is on as of last word.
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Posted by David Schott (+17519) 8 years ago
There have been a couple of notable short runway landings/takeoffs of big aircraft here in the U.S. lately. Here's a recent one from Tanzania that I hadn't heard about:



"Amazing Boeing 767 300ER take off from a very short runway - Ethiopian Airlines 2013. Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767-300ER flight number ET 815 had to make emergency landing due to communication gap on a short runway in Arusha, Tanzania which was not designed to handle big planes like Boeing 767 300ER. The plane landed safely with 213 passengers with a minor overrun on a runway length of 5300ft(1620m). The plane took off in amazing fashion on December 20, 2013 on one of the shortest runways. The surprising thing is the pilots did not even use half of the runway, pure talent."
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 8 years ago
I remember seeing a DC9 takeoff at MLS on runway 30 back in the mid-70's. They backed that plane up until the landing gear was right at the edge of the pavement. It just barely cleared the fence at the other end by the old dump on Sheffield road.
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