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Bob Hope's non-stop issue

June 11, 2013

As has frequently happened, another letter appeared in this paper decrying the shortcomings of Bob Hope Airport (“Why LAX is successful,” June 5) re: the lack of non-stop flights, as well as the ticket prices offered and the cost of parking. All nothing new, but has anyone thought about some of the practicalities involved?

Consider the reason for not offering many non-stop flights. It depends on the size of the aircraft. Larger aircraft have greater fuel capacities, which means longer distances can be flown. The main runway at Bob Hope is only 2,100 meters long. That’s adequate for mid-sized aircraft such as the Boeing 737 or the A-319 Airbus. These planes have operational ranges of 2,400 miles, which allows for limited range non-stop flights — like to Seattle, Denver, or Houston.

Larger aircraft, such as Boeing’s 767 and 777 series, as well as Airbus’ 320, 330, and 340 series, have ranges which allow for non-stop flights nationwide and to some international destinations, but have take-off requirements exceeding 2,100 meters. Granted, some of these types could use Bob Hope, but only if they took off with less fuel and with reduced passenger loads. Aircraft weight plus the weight of the fuel and passengers equals the length of runway needed for take-off. Even if an airline used one of these aircraft under such limitations, wouldn’t it be defeating the purpose? Less fuel means reducing the aircraft’s operational range. Less-than-full passenger capacity on a larger aircraft doesn’t make economic sense to an airline.

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While not the entire answer to the lack of non-stops offered by the airlines, it does give insight into one problem they do have in servicing those who use Bob Hope. As for the ticketing and parking situation, well, as the old saying goes, you charge what the market will bear.

Howard H. Gething
Montrose

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