ICAO fire category

Ask questions about flying techniques here. Real or Simulated - the principles are the same!

ICAO fire category

Postby Ant87 » Mon May 26, 2014 1:24 pm


I seem to be the one person posting questions here but the answers I'm getting are great so here's another.

Does the fire category of an airport determine the size of aircraft that can land?

Here's my situation, Swansea Airport EGFH has a ICAO max Rescue and firefighting service of 2 which is for aircraft with a max length of less than 12m but it's runway is 4,400ft so theoretically it could handle much larger aircraft such as a 737. I know Santos Dumont Airport (SBRJ) can handle 737s at 4,341ft ( I think, I've seen conflicting information but that's off the point).
So anyway if I was a billionaire who felt inclined to visit Swansea for a one off visit could I land my private 73BJJ at EGFH even though it only has an airport fire category of 2 and a 737 has a category of 6?

Any info would be great

2nd Lieutenant
2nd Lieutenant
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:28 pm

Re: ICAO fire category

Postby PhantomTweak » Mon May 26, 2014 10:55 pm

I am pretty sure that airport's are classed by the wightbearing capability of the main Runway, or the strongest, but I may be wrong, it may be the weakest, not certain...Pretty sure it's the weightbearing capability of one the two anyway...

Have fun, fly high, far, and free!
2S7, Chiloquin OR Image
User avatar
Posts: 599
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:10 pm
Location: Chiloquin OR

Re: ICAO fire category

Postby FoMoCo63 » Tue May 27, 2014 11:50 am

Swansea Airport EGFH elev. +299 ft.

Has a classification of low being 145 psi, considered low pressure tires for both runways.

One of the remarkable things about the line of Boeing 737 aircraft was to design their aircraft to meet the requirements of these AOE with a low tire pressure classification runways. The 737-200 was even designed to land on gravel surfaces.

With rwy 4/22 only being 4829 x 151 feet, the BBJ, despite its size and its maximum takeoff weight of 171,000 pounds, can take off from a sea level runway in 5,885 feet. At an altitude of 5,000 feet and a temperature of 77°F, the required runway distance increases to 9,645 feet.

Conclusion I arrived at was, even though the 737BBJ meets the requirements of the rwy classifications, the runways themselves are not long enough to accommodate the aircraft realistically.
2nd Lieutenant
2nd Lieutenant
Posts: 246
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:46 pm

Re: ICAO fire category

Postby C » Thu May 29, 2014 6:03 pm

The two previous replies seem to have missed the original question (but yes, pavement strength of all operating surfaces is a requirement for anything more than GA to operate!).

The simplest of explanations ('cos it's late):

What the original question relates to is the "Fire Cat", which is often known as the "Crash Cat" (for example the UK MoD use a system numbers 1A-6A - although 5A is the maximum required for our largest aircraft). It is a number based entirely on the rescue services available at an airfield or airport. The number relates to the equipment/number of vehicles available, and also the number of personnel to operate said equipment. It is completely unrelated to runway length or any other physical characteristic of the airfield.

In simple terms, you can go and land your 737BBJ at Swansea, but if you crash, the 2 or 3 blokes and their Landrover fire tender may be of little use.
User avatar
Posts: 13407
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 1:04 pm
Location: Earth

Re: ICAO fire category

Postby OldAirmail » Thu May 29, 2014 9:57 pm

Good question. Good answers.
.. .
Get the most out of your controls - SPAD.neXt

. . . . . .Any time, any plane, any weather.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Prepar3d V4
User avatar
Posts: 4818
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:06 pm
Location: Concrete, WA ICAO - 3W5

Return to Flight School

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 69 guests