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Runway Naming Question Re: ATL, LAX, Others  
User currently offlineBosWashSprStar From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 199 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7162 times:

Are the 4 runways at LAX and the 4 older runways at ATL parallel, or not quite? The names--at LAX, the runways are 7L/25R, 7R/25L, 6R/24L, 6L/24R--suggest that the two pairs are slightly skewed from each other, but on maps they appear to be parallel. So are the runways actually all parallel but named different things to avoid confusion? Or are they actually slightly skewed, and if so, is this done for any reason other than avoiding confusing/conflicting runway names?

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJetMech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2699 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7149 times:

Quoting BosWashSprStar (Thread starter):

I have looked at ATL on Google maps, and the runways do indeed appear to all be parallel! From my understanding of the situation, it is only possible to give a set of three parallel runways the same headings, with the suffix "L", "C", and "R" used to differentiate them. Obviously this is not possible with four or more parallel runways, so I presume that the runways are deliberately given different headings to get around this, even though they are parallel.

Regards, JetMech



JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10037 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7133 times:
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Quoting JetMech (Reply 1):
I have looked at ATL on Google maps, and the runways do indeed appear to all be parallel!

They are most definitely parallel (all 5 at ATL, and the 4 at LAX).

Theoretically, at LAX for example, they could have named then 7R/25L, 7C/25C. 7L/25L, and 6/24. But it makes it easier if you divide them into two pairs (the 7/25's and the 6/24's), especially since physically, the runways are in two pairs anyway (the 7/25's being on the south side, and the 6/24's being on the north side).



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3307 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7120 times:
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Quoting JetMech (Reply 1):
From my understanding of the situation, it is only possible to give a set of three parallel runways the same headings, with the suffix "L", "C", and "R" used to differentiate them.

Not necessarily true. The master plan for ORD calls for 6 runways in the 9/27 direction and two in the 4/22 direction. The 9/27 runways will be numbered, from North to South, as follows:

9N/27N
9L/27R (Arrival)
9L/27R (Departure)

9R/27L (Departure)
9R/27L (Arrival)
9S/27S

Seems awfully confusing to me, but that's what the plan calls for.

TIS

[Edited 2007-04-01 17:44:29]


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User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10037 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7091 times:
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Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
Not necessarily true. The master plan for ORD calls for 6 runways in the 9/27 direction and two in the 4/22 direction. The 9/27 runways will be numbered, from North to South, as follows:

9N/27N
9L/27R (Arrival)
9L/27R (Departure)

9R/27L (Departure)
9R/27L (Arrival)
9S/27S

Seems awfully confusing to me, but that's what the plan calls for.

Am I the only one who sees absolutely no sense to that runway naming scheme?

They could use 9/27(R/C/L) and 8/26(R/C/L) (or 10/28, depending). Can you really have two runways with the exact same designation, even if one is purely an arrival runway, and one's a departure runway? Seems....odd.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7064 times:

With the recent design scheme of having arrival and departure pairs, you may as well share numbers. Everyone knows that you land on the outside one and depart on the inside one.


Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21642 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7060 times:

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
Not necessarily true. The master plan for ORD calls for 6 runways in the 9/27 direction and two in the 4/22 direction. The 9/27 runways will be numbered, from North to South, as follows:

9N/27N
9L/27R (Arrival)
9L/27R (Departure)

9R/27L (Departure)
9R/27L (Arrival)
9S/27S

Seems awfully confusing to me, but that's what the plan calls for.

I don't think the FAA's going to be too happy with that one. They may be referred to as that in the development plan, but they'll be numbered, and referred to in practice by ATC, as 9/27 and either 8/26 or 10/28.

-Mir

EDIT: typo and clarity

[Edited 2007-04-01 23:29:54]


7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6836 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7036 times:

http://www.worldaerodata.com gives the true azimuth for each runway at each airport it lists, to a tenth of a degree, if you want to check how parallel they are. As I recall the 4/22 runways at ORD are a degree or two out of parallel.

User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5417 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7024 times:

Quoting JetMech (Reply 1):
it is only possible to give a set of three parallel runways the same headings, with the suffix "L", "C", and "R" used to differentiate them. Obviously this is not possible with four or more parallel runways, so I presume that the runways are deliberately given different headings to get around this, even though they are parallel.

Correct. More than 3 parallel runways the number is changed to differentiate them. No pilot is using this number for navigation (except very roughly for visual purposes), so it's of no consequence.

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 4):
Can you really have two runways with the exact same designation

No, it won't happen. With runway incursions being the hot-topic, this just doesn't make any sense. Think about airport runway signs etc. etc.

Quoting InnocuousFox (Reply 5):
Everyone knows that you land on the outside one and depart on the inside one.

LOL... they do? Like I said, not a chance. Perhaps you are forgetting that apart from the obvious safety issues, a runway must be numbered uniquely if only for the FMS and approach documentation etc. etc.

BTW, the chance of a runway ALWAYS being used for departures only and the other for arrivals only is almost zero.




Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2556 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7018 times:

When they added the third parallel runway at Miami it could have been numbered 08/26, leaving the existing 09/27L and 09/27R unchanged. However it was decided that as the new runway was so close to an existing one, the two runways had to become a pair with shared numbers, leaving 08/26L, 08/26R and 09/27. So all three runways changed designation.


The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10037 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7015 times:
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Quoting InnocuousFox (Reply 5):
With the recent design scheme of having arrival and departure pairs, you may as well share numbers. Everyone knows that you land on the outside one and depart on the inside one.

I've seen more than a few airplanes land on the inner runways at LAX, when there were no departures waiting.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 8):

No, it won't happen. With runway incursions being the hot-topic, this just doesn't make any sense. Think about airport runway signs etc. etc.

Yeah, that makes sense to me. Thanks.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offline3DPlanes From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 7006 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 8):
No, it won't happen. With runway incursions being the hot-topic, this just doesn't make any sense. Think about airport runway signs etc. etc.

LOL, I can see it now...

"United 243, cleared to cross 27L."

"No, no, no! Not THAT 27L! The other one!"



Or, maybe...

"Delta 155, taxi to 27L, hold short of the other 27L."



"Simplicate and add lightness." - Ed Heinemann
User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6979 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 8):
BTW, the chance of a runway ALWAYS being used for departures only and the other for arrivals only is almost zero.

I thought that when I read the ORD proposal, they said that it was because they were so close together they were designed to have the shared functionality. *shrug*



Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineATCme From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 304 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6895 times:

The four North/South runways at DEN are all the same exact heading, but are numbered in pairs of 16/34 and 17/35. I think this is the way to go because it is differentiated yet still easily remembered. Plus, Arrivals are usually on one pair and departures usually on the other.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
The master plan for ORD calls for 6 runways in the 9/27 direction and two in the 4/22 direction. The 9/27 runways will be numbered, from North to South, as follows:

Yeah, I could also see 9CL/27CR or 9CR/27CL

ATCme spin 



I'm from the FAA, and I'm here to help. Really. Yes I'm serious, I'm here to help you.
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6914 posts, RR: 46
Reply 14, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6873 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 8):
No pilot is using this number for navigation (except very roughly for visual purposes), so it's of no consequence.

I do find it handy to know the runway heading to plan an approach, but 10 or 20 degrees variation is of little consequence. If you are doing an instrument approach it is unneccessary, as you will be heading for an initial approach fix anyway and it is all charted from there. I agree that it is essential to have unique identifiers for every runway.

Quoting 3DPlanes (Reply 11):
LOL, I can see it now...

"United 243, cleared to cross 27L."

"No, no, no! Not THAT 27L! The other one!"

Exactly.  crazy 



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4280 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6663 times:

Here is an interesting tidbit that I learned in ATC class. When you have four parallel runways, and you have to come up with a number scheme, here is the way its usually done. Which ever configuration is the more common configuration has to do with it a lot.

Its easier to illustrate this with an example. At MCO, which is an airport that has four parallel, the more common configuration is the south configuration. Before the 17's were built, you had the 18's. Because you want the numbers to illustrate diverging runways in the primary direction, the new runways were labeled 17-35's. If the primary configuration was northerly, they would have likely been labeled 1-19s, which shows divergence in the northerly direction.

In ATL, the primary direction is east, so the numbers reflect 10 and 8's which would diverge from 9's.

In LAX, its primarily a west config, hence the south runways are 25's and the north's are 24's.

In DTW, the primary config is the southwest, hence 21 on the east and 22 on the west.

At DFW, its the south config thats the more common one, which means the east runways are 17's and west are 18's.

And in DEN, its set up as primarily a north config, hence 34 and 35's, and west, so 25 and 26.

There are a few more examples of this. My guess is that ORD would consider an east config primary, much like plan x, so you will have one of two scenarios.

The north 2 runways are a pair of 8-26's, the middle 2 9-27's exactly as they are now, and the new 2 south runways 10-28's.

The other scenario would be for the 3 north runways to be 8-26's LCR and for the south to be 9-27's in a similar manner.


User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6836 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 6624 times:

Quoting Apodino (Reply 15):
In LAX, its primarily a west config, hence the south runways are 25's and the north's are 24's.

Should be the other way round, according to your pattern.


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 5 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6528 times:

Quoting JetMech (Reply 1):

I have looked at ATL on Google maps, and the runways do indeed appear to all be parallel! From my understanding of the situation, it is only possible to give a set of three parallel runways the same headings, with the suffix "L", "C", and "R" used to differentiate them.

The new runway @ ATL is numbered 10/28, as it's far enough away from the 9/27s to be given its' own separate headings (much like the 8/26s.) Had it been built closer in to the 9/27s, perhaps they would have renumbered 9R/27L to 9C/27C. And had the fifth runway been built on the north side of the airport (this was one of the areas considered for the fifth runway, and is probably out of play for the sixth runway if one is ever built [Quite a bit of infrastructure would have to be relocated, as there are several hangars, the fuel farm, the FBO, a hotel, the North Cargo complex and the EV G.O. that are sited near where a runway could potentially be put]), depending on the exact location, it could have been the new 8L/26R (with the current runway renumbered to 8C/26C) or 7L/25R.


User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3474 posts, RR: 47
Reply 18, posted (7 years 5 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6505 times:

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
Seems awfully confusing to me, but that's what the plan calls for.

Three excerpts from the Sprint '07 AA pilots e-newsletter:

When completed, the “new” O’Hare will look a lot like Atlanta Hartsfield, featuring six parallel east-west runways and access to a central terminal facility from both directions. Unfortunately, the runway expansion will require razing surrounding development, and the southern half of the expansion will also require relocation of major roadways - a project that will take many years. In the short-term, though, we are doing runway improvements as well as adding a new runway and tower to the north side.

Finally, to the flying part of the new O’Hare airport. Contractors are doing site work to make way for the new north runway, and, since the runway will not be fully visible from the current tower, a new tower will soon rise near our maintenance hangar. The current 9R-27L runway will be redesignated 10-28 sometime this summer (eventually 10L-28R), and it will be lengthened to the west. The current 9L-27R will become 9R-27L and the new north runway will be 9L-27R.

Runway 14L-32R will continue to be shortened due to excavation work off the northwest end, and taxiway fillets will be added at various intersections to expand routes for the A-340-600 and allow regular operation of the A-380. ASDE-X radar will be added to allow “position and hold” operations, so you will leave the transponder on after landing as you do now in DFW.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineLarSPL From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 5 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6435 times:

there is no 'its usually done this or that way'..
icao has rules about it!



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User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2825 posts, RR: 45
Reply 20, posted (7 years 5 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6434 times:

Quoting Timz (Reply 16):
Quoting Apodino (Reply 15):
In LAX, its primarily a west config, hence the south runways are 25's and the north's are 24's.

Should be the other way round, according to your pattern.

Apodino is correct. The south pair are 25/7 L/R, and the north complex are 24/6 L/R. I'm just grateful that 25L is open again; looking forward to the parallel taxiway to be finished.


User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6836 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (7 years 5 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6414 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 20):
Apodino is correct.

Take another look at his post.

Quoting LarSPL (Reply 19):
there is no 'its usually done this or that way'..
icao has rules about it!

About runway numbering? What are their rules, and does LAX comply with them?


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5417 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (7 years 5 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6407 times:

Quoting LarSPL (Reply 19):
there is no 'its usually done this or that way'..
icao has rules about it!

Very informative .... and they are ....???

Actually as is usual, the FAA does not stick exactly to ICAO recommendations, so there is some flexibility here. If we're talking ICAO rules, we wouldn't be talking about runways 8L and 9R ... it would be 08L and 09R!

Quoting Timz (Reply 21):
About runway numbering? What are their rules, and does LAX comply with them?

Yes. Four parallels should be numbered L,R,L,R and there is no requirement for "diverging runways in the primary direction" ... although the FAA may well do this. One set must be to the nearest one tenth magnetic azimuth, and the other set to the next nearest one tenth azimuth. It does not specify which set, L or R, should be given the first number.

5 parallel runways should be either: L,R,L,C,R or L,C,R,L,R.
6 parallel runways: L,C,R,L,C,R.

No doubt exceptions for existing runway numbers when building new parallels alongside.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2825 posts, RR: 45
Reply 23, posted (7 years 5 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6395 times:

Quoting Timz (Reply 21):
Apodino is correct.

Take another look at his post.

In LAX the south pair are 25/7 L/R, and the north complex are 24/6 L/R, which is what I was assenting to (at least I am pretty sure that when I landed on the southernmost runway at LAX on Sunday, it was 25L.)

If you are saying that his post is incorrect because the southern runways (25) aren't given directional numbers diverging from the northern pair (24) than I totally agree with that. I thought you were saying the north complex was the 7/25s.

I think we were talking about two different things, and I appreciate you bringing up my faux pas for clarification!  Smile


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