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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:52 pm

Denver (KDEN) Runway Usage (and Spots)?

Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:10 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm currently planning a trip to the US in October, and since I'm in the area anyway, I'd love to include some spotting at Denver to catch some beautiful Frontier tails. Of course I'm aware that Denver's not your usual spotters' paradise, but everyone likes a challenge, right?

I've already found the spotting tips on SpottersWiki. I'll have a car and one or two days time to get some shots. However, given the airport's huge dimensions, I was wondering if there's any set pattern to the runway usage?

Are there any set "configurations" (e.g. for northern and southern winds), with set arrival and departure runways? If I was at the controls, I'd use the 35s for arrivals and the 34s for departures with northerlies, or the 16s for arrivals and 17s for departures with southerlies. And forget about the east/west runways, haha. This would lead to the shortest taxi times. Is there any such system that one can prepare for? Are the runways split up by arriving direction? I.e. planes from the West and South onto one runway, planes from the North and East onto another? Or is it split up by airlines and terminals? Is there any preffered runway for the Frontier planes (and the UA 787 from Japan)?

And as for police: Is it correct that if I stay outside the airport-owned area (i.e. spot along 120th street for Rwys16, on 56th for the 35s and on Imboden for 26) I'm unlikely to get harassed by police as I'm out in Adams County and nobody cares? Can I just park the car on the shoulder of those roads, or should I find some dirt pullout or something?

You see, a lot of questions. Maybe anyone who knows the airport can shed some light. I've tried looking at the flight paths on flightaware, but with the parallel runways it's quite hard to see exactly which one a plane lands on. Looking at flightradar and listening to LiveATC does help, but it's difficult to see a system behind it all...

Thanks a lot for your help and best regards from Switzerland! And if any Denver spotters woud like to meet, that's always very welcome! Not yet sure about the exact dates of my visit, but probably around October 19/20.


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