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How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:57 am
by Sokes
What are factors to consider?
Examples of airports that added one and a description how that one changed operations are also welcome.

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:26 am
by e38
How many runways does an airport need?

one.

e38

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:02 am
by Starlionblue
Factors to consider are primarily traffic volume, prevailing winds, obstacles, FIR/national boundaries.

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:10 pm
by bradyj23
e38 wrote:
How many runways does an airport need?

one.

e38


So does that make it technically 2?

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:57 pm
by seb146
MFR (Rogue Valley International, Medford Oregon) only has 32/14. They had a smaller runway that ran SE/NW but that was removed, so they are down to the one. MFR is busy with flights from SEA, PDX, SFO, DEN, SLC, PHX, LAX and occasionally LAS. That seems to work fine for them.

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:15 pm
by GalaxyFlyer
One works pretty well at Gatwick and Luton, both fairly busy. Gatwick is, I think, the busiest single runway airport in the world. Mumbai has two, but essentially can use only one at a time due to the configuration. Carriers can trap one plane every 45 seconds with one “runway” aka flight deck.

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:31 pm
by PatrickZ80
It really depends on the airport.

Up to a certain traffic volume, one runway is sufficient. However it has the disadvantage that the same runway is to be used by both landing and departing aircraft, so there can be queues of departing aircraft waiting for landing aircraft. It's only manageable to a certain degree.

If an airport has more traffic than that, it needs a second runway. That way landings and departures can be handled independent from each other, they both got their own runway.

Only if an airport sees extremely high traffic numbers more than two runways are needed, but this is really rare. However sometimes it can make sense due to the wind direction.

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:57 pm
by e38
Quoting bradyj23 (Reply # 4), "So does that make it technically 2?"

No, one.

Just as an example, do you look at the airport diagram for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (KDFW) and say, "Wow, that airport has fourteen runways?"

there is a difference between a "runway," and takeoffs and landings in two directions.

e38

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:47 pm
by CosmicCruiser
Reading this post, I was visualizing Fedex having only one runway during the afternoon and night arrivals and departures. They will use 3 and sometimes all 4 at MEM.

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:23 am
by stratclub
Also at the end of the day, your successful take offs should equal your successful landings. :-)

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:48 am
by aklrno
Not true at PAE and RNT, for example

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:01 pm
by VSMUT
stratclub wrote:
Also at the end of the day, your successful take offs should equal your successful landings. :-)


I always wondered what the total takeoff and landing figures looked like in the logbook of a fighter pilot who ejected from his aircraft. Do they list one more takeoff than landing?

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:57 pm
by CosmicCruiser
As long as you have your "D" ring to prove it. LOL!

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:15 am
by GalaxyFlyer
I could at my Form 5, but i can’t recall if the flight was even logged.

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:02 am
by bluecrew
Well... let's see.

How many arrivals do you get? What's your ideal AAR?

Are these runways parallel? Where is each intersection of crossing runways?

If these runways are parallel, what sort of approaches do you need? Are we talking simultaneous instruments (many), or trips (DFW), or quads (ORD), or just one instrument and the rest tied visual (BOS)?

If you've got parallels, how far apart are they? Can you comfortably work your volume with that under 2500ft same runway separation rule, or do you need to build a new runway 2501ft away from your existing one (DFW)? Or maybe you need a third parallel. That's the ticket (SEA). Let's build a frickin' island and stick that sucker on there.

Do you need an offset due to departure procedures and missed approach procedures (JFK)?

What's the noise situation? Is one runway entirely useless for departures because of De Blasio (I'm kidding)?

Or, do you just hang on to vestigial runways because they're sentimental and remind you of a different, simpler time (MSP, DTW, LGW)?

Perhaps you have runways going in every single direction because YOLO and we're on a manmade island (BOS)?

There is no answer to your question.

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:18 pm
by TheWorm123
The benefit of parallel runways:
https://youtu.be/X5gGSWg_KcE

The SFO synchronised landings are a thing of beauty.

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:45 am
by GalaxyFlyer
TheWorm123 wrote:
The benefit of parallel runways:
https://youtu.be/X5gGSWg_KcE

The SFO synchronised landings are a thing of beauty.


Or a source of delays back to Nebraska

Re: How many runways does an airport need?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:04 am
by Moose135
If it's circular, you only need one...