Uber Alley – Idle Airliners

06/20/2020

IAH is the code for Houston Intercontinental Airport.  They tried to get the coveted HIC code (for Irony’s sake), but it was already taken by Iscor Heliport in Pretoria, South Africa.  Likewise, HIA was already taken by Lianshui Airport in Huai’an China.

During the Great Communist Chinese Virus Panic of 2020,  IAH was reduced from five operating terminals to two and a unique situation took place.  Since air traffic was cut to the bone – and some sawing of the bones was underway – there was a ridiculous excess of airplanes.  And, just what does one do with such an excess?  The first thing you might think of is to put them in hangers.  However, it should occur to alert readers (all y’all) that because an airline only makes money when they keep their planes busy, there is a ridiculous shortage of hangers in the current rigamarole.

Well, airplanes (especially the busy ones) are outside probably 98% of the time and they are designed to do just that – through rain or sleet or gloom of night.  So, what you do is park your airplanes where there is secure outdoor space.  Conveniently, airports are some of the most secure outdoor spaces around and what you can do is park those idle airplanes along the aprons that line the runways.

In my Transportation Business I have occasion to visit airports – in the current narrative, IAH.  What I noticed, repeatedly – as I drove the approach to the terminals – was a long chain of airplanes along a runway apron.  I estimated their number at about thirty – because counting airplane tails while driving a passenger to his flight is considered unprofessional.

But that does not mean that I cannot deliver the passenger to his terminal and then drive out to where I can find a fence along that particular stretch. Thinking of security, I decided not to tell where this is.  Anyway, I was able to count 26 parked planes and capture some photos of same.  The view is obstructed by the fence (Figure 1), but I managed to sneak a glimpse of a few planes through the spaces in the chain-link hurricane fence (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Airplanes with not much to do
Figure 2: A view through a space in the fence grid.

Hasta Luego,

Steve

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