Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 09 May 2013
Total posts 348
I'm a low level pilot (meaning i do not fly for commercial airlines). Why cannot airports and airlines use tugs to tow the aircraft closer to the runway from the gate and also bring aircrafts to gates from near the runway?
Member since 04 Jun 2015
Total posts 73
I think it had been studied by airlines and airports and the negatives outweigh the positives. Yes there would be a reduced fuel burn but this saving is chewed up by two crew needed for the tow, fuel in the tug, extra tugs, lost time, coordination costs.
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 01 Mar 2012
Total posts 200
I think for LAX that was due to space issues. An aircraft could not maneuver safely within the confines of the old terminal.
Member since 23 Oct 2013
Total posts 767
If you google "why don't tugs take aircraft to the runway" you'll find 100's of answers to your question.
Good to know. Thank you for this information. It is interesting how i never thought of popping this on google. Do you think electric tugs with automation may improve some of these problems? Apart from the engine warm up etc?
Not sure. Speed (how fast they can get around an airport) and Space (space on taxi ways) will always be an issue.
Member since 06 Mar 2015
Total posts 238
Member since 08 Feb 2018
Total posts 137
‘Within a few minutes of starting’ sounds the same as warming up to me ;-)
Rod H. I was under the impression that engine manufacturers suggest a few minute warm-up time. Even if it's just a couple of minutes at a slot restricted airport like Sydney, London, LA etc it would be hard imagine aircraft sitting waiting 2-3 minutes on a taxiway before taking off when the runway could potentially be clear now but not in 2-3 minutes time.
Member since 04 May 2018
Total posts 15
Just a question for the specialists at the pointy end with the controls. Can the Jet powered aircraft do the same as the Dash 8s do and shut down one engine when taxing in or at least put in in idle mode (if that's what they call it). I have read that this saves a lot of fuel over time and other things
Member since 11 Dec 2017
Total posts 125
SET (Single engine taxi) can happen occasionally on arrival (never for departure for obvious reasons). It’s entirely at pilot discretion and not many aussie pilots think highly enough of their employers to do this religiously (nor should they...)
Member since 22 Jul 2015
Total posts 83
Last time in and out of T 7 at JFK i recall tugs had to bring the aircraft into the bay. I guess space and safety constraints
Just to clarify my statement re. jet engine warm up. I was comparing piston engine and prop jets to pure jets where there is a definite requirement to warm up and that takes quite a few minutes whereas a jet engine is usually at operating temp by the time push back and taxi clearance is obtained.Of course on very cold days the jet will take a little longer but my statement was that it was not normally necessary to take extra time to warm a jet engine up.The only thing to warm up is the lubricating oil for the bearings etc whilst a piston engine/ prop jet has a lot more stuff to warm up to ensure complete operation. In my many years of flying with jet engines I cannot ever recall having to wait to warm up as it usually takes at least 5 minutes + to push and start and taxi to the take off point and by that time all is warm so it does not normally take any extra time. Even if we were towed out it would still take several minutes to start , stabilise the engines , disconnect the tug and then taxi to the take off point so all would still be warm enough. I guess it's splitting hairs but I reckon my statement is quite valid.
Member since 28 Aug 2014
Total posts 128
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on
Already have an ET account? Log in below.
Signing up with Executive Traveller only takes a second and lets you
interact with our community. It's completely free and we'll never pass your information on to
Didn’t receive an activation email? Resend one to yourself here.
If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address
below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.
If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.
Subscribe to our free newsletter and get the latest news, reviews, tips and more sent straight to your inbox