Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:37 am

Final Vs. Finals

Tue Nov 30, 1999 2:57 am

After reading British/foreign aviation articles and magazines for more than a few years now, I just have to ask... why do the British and a few other non-US types use the plural term finals when mentioning the final approach to a runway? It just sounds wrong to me, seeing as how for any given runway there is but one final approach. How can one plane be on finals for one runway? Makes no sense. I've been flying in the US for 15 years, professionally for 10, and not once have I heard a pilot use the plural form of the word, either in conversation or on the radio. Any ideas?

Just wondering...

Posts: 540
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 1999 12:10 am

RE: Final Vs. Finals

Tue Nov 30, 1999 3:42 am

Hi John!
I think the answer is very simple. It's a shorthanded term coming from "4 nautical miles final". The abreviation became simply "finals" for ground ATC transmission from the cockpit. That gives "Air France Alpha Golf established on runway 31 left, 5 finals". I often heard this transcription, that's why my opinion and explanation on the subject.
Why it is in use in an X-country and not in the Y one, I don't know.