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IAH Runway Configurations  
User currently offlineAM From Mexico, joined Oct 1999, 589 posts, RR: 2
Posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 9130 times:
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What are the most common runway configurations at Houston Intercontinental? Depending on winds of course, which runways are used for takeoffs and which for landings?

Also, with runway 15R/33L now 10000ft long, do they use it for landings or is it used for parallel takeoffs with 15L/33R?

Thanks a lot in advance.

AM


"... for there you have been and there you will long to return."
29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRamper@iah From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 240 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 9047 times:

About 80% of the time, runway 26 is used for arrivals from the north and west, and runway 27 is used for arrivals from the south and east. 15L and 15R are almost always used for all departures with runway 26 used sometimes for westerly departures. Usually when the tailwind component reaches about 8 knots, they'll use 8 and 9 for arrivals, sometimes still using 15L and 15R for departures. Runway 9 is never used for departures.

User currently offlineMarkus From United States of America, joined May 1999, 275 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 8913 times:

Ramper@iah,
All the info from above is correct except for your last sentence. I've departed on RWY 9 twice in the many (100+) times flying out of IAH. Both times we were Eastbound (GSP on an ERJ-145LR the other to CHS on an MD-82 back in 1999). These are the only times I EVER departed off 9. Interestingly, both flights were delayed because of extremely strong storms. The ERJ flight was especially bad due to the ever present level 3 and 4 storms in the area that closed the airport for a few hours. I was returning from GSC training a couple weeks after 9/11. Though rare...the runways is used for departures.

To correct the statement....RWY. 27 is NEVER used for departures due to the cargo area off the end of the runway centerline. Landing on Rwy. 9 is fun if you have a window seat since you fly directly over the cargo area.
Cheers,
Markus

Work smart
Not hard


User currently offlineErj-145mech From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 306 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 8902 times:

I've departed twice on RWY 9, once on an EMB-120, once on an ATR-42, on Co-Ex to ILE. Both times were a 9PM departure.

Dave
TYS


User currently offlineRamper@iah From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 240 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (11 years 4 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 8887 times:

Markus,

Thanks for the correction. I indeed meant to say "runway 27 is never used for takeoffs." Too bad this board doesn't have an edit feature.

Has anyone ever landed on 15L or 15R? I've never seen it.


User currently offlineAM From Mexico, joined Oct 1999, 589 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 8867 times:
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Thanks everyone. I've only been in IAH 2 times, my landings were on 27 and 9 (that's right, landing on 9 is interesting, you get to see 15s/33s and the cargo area just before touchdown), and both takeoffs were on 15L, followed by an immediate right turn heading southwest.

Do they ever use runways 33L/R at all?



"... for there you have been and there you will long to return."
User currently offlineErj-145mech From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 306 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (11 years 4 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8864 times:

ramper@iah, I've landed on 14L, 14R, and on 14STOL several times. Of course, this was about 18-20 years ago. I flew my C-150 down from CXO to get some parts from Qualitron. I guess you can see that back then it was RWY 14, before they sucked so much oil out from beneath that IAH started to screw itself into the earth and changed the heading. RWY 14 STOL was a marked section of taxiway A from about where the FEDEX/mail ramp is now to just before Qualitron. It was there mostly for the Metro Twin Otters coming up from Clear Lake to land on. When Metro went away, so did 14STOL.

Dave
TYS


User currently offlineRamper@iah From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 240 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 8845 times:

"Do they ever use runways 33L/R at all?"

Yes, but only when the wind direction and velocity give them no other choice. It takes forever to taxi down there.


User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7737 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 8836 times:

I've departed on 33R once... arrivals on 26 and 27. It was during a period of thunderstorms in the area. And the taxi from Terminal D was about 15-20 minutes.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineBruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5036 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 8795 times:

Once back in 1999, I was on a flight that took off using 9. And we made a sharp right turn after departure. This is it:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bruce Leibowitz



Now since we are on the subject of IAH runways I have a question based on my visit there this week. For flights that are going northeast (like to Europe), why do they use 15R and not 15L? Tower instructed them to turn right heading 360 after departure and from the viewing area you could watch them circle in the sky, some starting the turn right over your head. I would think that if you depart 15L then you're travelling less distance, which would be preferable especially on a long haul where you're at max fuel load.

To answer AM, yes they do use 33L/33R. i was at the viewing area on thursday morning when the change happened. The wind that day changed direction to like 290, and all of a sudden I saw a NW Airbus taxi down there and as soon as the queue for 15L/15R cleared then they started using 33 for the rest of the day. I'm going to be uploading pics of it. I also witnessed takeoffs from 8.



Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
User currently offlineEssentialpowr From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1820 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 8718 times:

If the concrete is there, eventually the runway will be used for an arrival or departure. On 30Dec, IAH was configured w/ departures of 15L and arrivals on 15R due to southerly winds of 20kts gusting to 35 w/ low level windshear.

Markus, the cargo area doesn't prevent departures off 27 in any way (did you just make that up??). Before IAH was configured "all south" on the 30th, several a/c departed from 27. Runway configs dictate airport facility layout, not vice versa.

cheers


User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6199 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8706 times:

I was out there yesterday and they were using 33R for departures.

I would think that if you depart 15L then you're travelling less distance, which would be preferable especially on a long haul where you're at max fuel load.

Bruce, we're talking about a few feet here, right? Does it really make that much difference?


By the way, here is an airport diagram:
http://www.aopa.org/images/asf/taxi/05461AD.pdf



Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineBruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5036 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8686 times:

No, it is more than a few feet. Try miles. if you take off rwy 15L then you turn left to your desired heading which is probably 040 for europe-bound jets.
When you takeoff rwy 15R you turn RIGHT, west, and then 360, north, and then northeast. These turns are wide - covering several miles.

But I'd go with the theory that the heavies dont climb as fast and they need to be above a certain altitude in order to cross the 27/26 approach path so they go the other way.



Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
User currently offlineEssentialpowr From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1820 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 8677 times:

Turning to the "desired heading" for an eastbound departure off 15L doesn't happen very often.

If IAH is in standard VFR config (departures off 15L/R, arrivals on 26/27), north and east bound 15R departures come right to a 360 hdg, and north and east bound departures off 15L come to a 120 hdg. About half the time, instead of 120 off 15L, a left turn to 360 will be issued. All departures get an initial alt of 4000 MSL.

Arrivals cross the final approach fixes for 26/27 at or below 2000 MSL (VFR) and line up around 20 miles to the east; both downwinds are flown at 6000 MSL.

Therefore, the east bound departure traffic will stay at or near the 360 or 120 hdgs headings to ensure separation from the arrivals.

cheers


User currently offlineN102DA From United States of America, joined May 2002, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 8656 times:

I flew out of IAH last Thursday (Jan 2) on a 737-700 back to ATL. We departed on 33R and after a steep initial climb, made an immediate right turn after takeoff. We turned towards a southeasterly heading and actually flew over the arriving aircraft for 26 and 27. Quite interesting to fly over aircraft landing in the opposite direction. We then turned to the east as we passed Lake Houston. Interesting to note that most arrivals to 26 turn onto base right over the lake. One of the more interesting departures I've had in a while. And yes, the taxi from gate C-18 took forever!

Regards,

N102DA


User currently offlineDiscoverCSG From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 812 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7967 times:

I see there's a GDP in effect for IAH due to weather/thunderstorms.

Are they stuck with only the 15's in use because of the wind? If so, what's the arrival capacity?


User currently offlineThePinnacleKid From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 708 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 7934 times:



Quoting Ramper@iah (Reply 1):
Usually when the tailwind component reaches about 8 knots, they'll use 8 and 9 for arrivals

It is (conveniently) normally 10 knots of the tailwind component... which happens to be the structural limit for quite a few of the aircraft that frequently use IAH.... =)

as a IAH based f/o... I see the following:

IAH tends to put RIICE arrivals on 26R (slow days or with a gap 26L), ROKIT & DAISETTA tend to go to 26L, and STROS & GLAND arrivals will tend to go to 27... granted on rare occaision I've flown RIICE and landed on 27, STROS and went to 26L, etc... but the first stuff is standard IAH usage....

For departures... the preferred is 15L/R... but they will switch to 33L/R when winds dictate... as others have said... the other runways sometimes used for departure include 26L (in low usage hours), 9 (when weather dictates), and on rare occasion 26R will be a departure runway for the guys off the cargo ramp (The huge one on the east side of the field that is between 26L and 26R... )



"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
User currently offlineRkmcswain From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 222 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7847 times:

I posted about 33 takeoffs a while back and then experienced one last year. It occurred after a front hit town and there was a north wind present (typical winds in Houston are from the S or SW).

I once lived in the flight path of a 15 landing and saw one almost every morning about 4:30. Cargo I'm assuming.


User currently offlineATCT From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2223 posts, RR: 39
Reply 18, posted (6 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7805 times:



Quoting Ramper@iah (Reply 4):
Thanks for the correction. I indeed meant to say "runway 27 is never used for takeoffs." Too bad this board doesn't have an edit feature.

Actually ive seen this 4 times in the past year and a half ive worked here. (when the wind is strong out of the west, we'll go "Straight West" which means land 26L/R and depart 27)

ATCT



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 23
Reply 19, posted (6 years 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7721 times:

I love all this...one day I might even answer the question but let us just say for now that IAH hardly even lands into the wind and weird configurations from the landing west on all 3 and departing the 15's happens!! When it does watch out!  Smile

More later.............much more later I hope.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineModesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2770 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (6 years 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7675 times:



Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 19):
I love all this...one day I might even answer the question but let us just say for now that IAH hardly even lands into the wind and weird configurations from the landing west on all 3 and departing the 15's happens!! When it does watch out!

So true! Standard arrivals have a quartering tailwind. If not, something's wrong!


User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 23
Reply 21, posted (6 years 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7660 times:



Quoting Rkmcswain (Reply 17):
I once lived in the flight path of a 15 landing and saw one almost every morning about 4:30. Cargo I'm assuming.

 checkmark 

Quoting AM (Reply 5):
Do they ever use runways 33L/R at all?

Try and avoid landing 33R, it is about the worst configuration as you get about 3 aircraft on final outside the final approach fix and you're into the airspace HOU Tower uses for their departures in a north flow. So something has to give, which is usually HOU ends up taking their traffic out west or southeast first before they get turned northbound. Ugly ops.

Quoting Ramper@iah (Reply 1):
Runway 9 is never used for departures.

Quite the contrary...Runway 9 is often used for departures as others have mentioned especially when landing 8L/R.....you even find Runway 9 used when landing 26R/L for eastbound traffic, they get a quick turn to the southeast first then when outside the downwind turned toward BPT.

Quoting Markus (Reply 2):
To correct the statement....RWY. 27 is NEVER used for departures due to the cargo area off the end of the runway centerline.



Quoting Essentialpowr (Reply 10):
(did you just make that up??).

Yeah Markus, did you make that up or what?  Smile Runway 27 is used for departures as others have eluded to as well....however, it is not common to see that but it is used! I personally have used it a few years ago when an aircraft is on the southeast ramp of Terminal C/E in a northwest wind, much closer taxi to Runway 27 than 33R/L. Have also been a passenger in a B739 to RSW that used Runway 27 for departure in the last year.

Quoting AM (Thread starter):
What are the most common runway configurations at Houston Intercontinental?

Most common is and best arrival rate is landing Runways 26L/R and 27, departing 15L/R with the occasional Runway 26R departure, and try to remain in that flow as long as possible. The joke around IAH is if the wind is out of the west, IAH has to be landing east!

Quoting Ramper@iah (Reply 4):
Has anyone ever landed on 15L or 15R? I've never seen it.

Runway 15R was used all day for weather/winds around the middle of March this year....wind was something like 150 at 25 gust to 40 all day long.

Quoting Bruce (Reply 12):
But I'd go with the theory that the heavies dont climb as fast and they need to be above a certain altitude in order to cross the 27/26 approach path so they go the other way.

A good theory but it also applies to all departures. You must have separation above the guys on final to Runways 26L/R and 27, some of the tower folks will give the left turn off 15L, most prefer to use the right turn off 15R. I prefer to just get them out and if it requires a left turn and a right turn to diverging headings then do it.  eek 

Quoting Erj-145mech (Reply 6):
RWY 14 STOL was a marked section of taxiway A from about where the FEDEX/mail ramp is now to just before Qualitron. It was there mostly for the Metro Twin Otters coming up from Clear Lake to land on. When Metro went away, so did 14STOL

Ah the STOL 14....what a fun operation that was. Sometimes a BE20 would use it as well as a guy in BPT and his BE50 for landing. Had a C500 line up on it for take-off one day thinking it was 14L...lol....sure was narrow for a 150' wide runway.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineflymeariver From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 84 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3032 times:

Hello all,

Stormy morning here in Houston, and IAH has been landing 26L and 26R with departures only from 27 all morning... 15s and 33s not being used at all. Seems like an odd configuration, any reason for this?

ATIS was reporting wind 290 at 8 a short time ago, visibility 7, ceiling 3000 overcast.

I will also add that I've seen this done once or twice in the past as well, always in October/November, if that matters.


User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 23
Reply 23, posted (5 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2683 times:

Quoting flymeariver (Reply 22):
Stormy morning here in Houston, and IAH has been landing 26L and 26R with departures only from 27 all morning... 15s and 33s not being used at all. Seems like an odd configuration, any reason for this

There could be many reasons for this configuration, weather off the departure end of the 15's or 33's that preclude airplanes flying through it, possibility of the tower not being able to protect for a missed approach/go-around from landing traffic on 26L/R with the traffic departing 33L/R, or even the fact that they started in that configuration during a high traffic time taking all departures of Runway 27 and have to finish that before they can load them up on the 15's or 33's.

It is very dynamic and I also have my one personal opinions but won't share that in a public forum!  



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineatct From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2223 posts, RR: 39
Reply 24, posted (5 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2373 times:

Quoting flymeariver (Reply 22):
Stormy morning here in Houston, and IAH has been landing 26L and 26R with departures only from 27 all morning

Take this with a grain of salt as I haven't worked at IAH in 2 years.

With a lower ceiling / visibility, we had requirements in order to depart 33 and land 26/27 at the same time. If I remember correctly the aircraft on final to 27 had to be in sight on a 2 mile final, 26L on a 3 mile final, and 26R on a 4 mile final prior to any aircraft starting departure roll off of 33R/L. So when the rain is coming through etc and we couldnt get the arrivals in sight, in time, we would take all departures to 27, and land 26L/R. I always enjoyed working 27 departures as they did a nice fly by the tower. Sadly, I now work in a dark room without windows...I think I just found a mushroom growing out of my chair....



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
25 IAHFLYR : Get over your bad self....LOL Even when you were working the tower you still were not above the mushrooms.........but you did make a difference that'
26 apodino : Its pretty simple. They have to turn to a northerly heading off departure, and if they turned left there would be an instant conflict with traffic la
27 flymeariver : Today at IAH, some light showers have been around and winds have been pretty consistent out of the N or NW around 10 kts (last time I checked was 340@
28 atct : I used to turn guys left to the north all the time and top the final to the 26's and 27. I wouldn't do it with a heavy (I have when needed, it gets a
29 Post contains links and images 71Zulu : Depends on how fast you taxi http://youtu.be/J-C5leIxSos
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