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dr1980
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Parallel Runway Assignment

Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:21 pm

Hello, I’m wondering how incoming aircraft are assigned to an arrival runway when there are parallel runways active for arrivals? Is it based more on what direction they are arriving from, or where they need to go when they get on the ground. Two examples:

- at YYZ, Westjet is generally closer to 05/23 than Air Canada, so would Westjet arrivals be prioritized on 05/23 while Air Canada is prioritized on 06R/24L?
- At MIA, many cargo facilities are located next to 09/27, so would those cargo arrivals be prioritized for that runway?

Or in both cases is it based more on direction of arrival? I guess I’m trying to figure out where the balance of benefit lies between airborne flows and ground flows.

Or perhaps this is very airport dependant and variable?

Thanks for any information.
Dave/CYHZ
 
MLIAA
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:27 pm

dr1980 wrote:
Hello, I’m wondering how incoming aircraft are assigned to an arrival runway when there are parallel runways active for arrivals? Is it based more on what direction they are arriving from, or where they need to go when they get on the ground. Two examples:

- at YYZ, Westjet is generally closer to 05/23 than Air Canada, so would Westjet arrivals be prioritized on 05/23 while Air Canada is prioritized on 06R/24L?
- At MIA, many cargo facilities are located next to 09/27, so would those cargo arrivals be prioritized for that runway?

Or in both cases is it based more on direction of arrival? I guess I’m trying to figure out where the balance of benefit lies between airborne flows and ground flows.

Or perhaps this is very airport dependant and variable?

Thanks for any information.


I can’t speak for every airport, but I’ll use ORD as an example. The way the arrival procedures work on a west flow, most Southwesterly arrivals make the downwind and land on 28C; most of the easterly and particularly southeasterly arrivals will land 27L, and those coming from the northwest or northeast will typically land 27R. The same goes for landing east, with the downwind arrivals landing on the outboards and the straight-ins on the center.

DFW works similarly, as does ATL, so I’d assume YYZ would be about the same.
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gloom
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:32 am

dr1980 wrote:
Or perhaps this is very airport dependant and variable?


This.

A few famous examples from Europe:
Heathrow - two independent, parallel 09/27. One is arrival, other departure. Both more-or-less equal in terms of runway length, so I think it's workload reduce config that's most usual, 27R arr, 27L dep, or 09L dep 09R arr (IIRC).
Munich - similar config with 08/26. They are using the runways depending on departure, to separate flows north/south. Basically traffic south (eg Italy) will get the southern rwy while northbound (say nordic countries) will use northern ones.
Frankfurt - three parallel runways 07/25, plus 18 for departures only. Usually those 3 are used for arrivals plus some departures (no specific pattern on departures that I noticed, it could be regional/longhaul, north or south bound, except the would usually use two "internal" runways, not the third one built over the highway). Arrivals usually follow geographic rules, north to 07L/25R.
Paris - four parallel runways, 09/27 north, 08/26 south, but partly dependant (not enough separation between both 26s and 27s). So, they came with a mix of all above. They usually use shorter one for landings (not to limit longhaul departures), and longer ones for departures. The arrivals are sort of a mix between north/south bound and distance to terminals (latter is more important I guess). You'd expect arrivals to/departures from terminal 1 on 27s, and terminal 2 on 26s. That's not always the case though.

So, no simple answer, since many parameters need to be taken. What are the runway lengths? What is the count? Are there any particular restrictions on runway usage? What about terminal placement? Noise procedures and climb gradients? Traffic flow from different arrival intersections? Night noise procedures? Transitions and climb procedures? Even the countries setups could influence (see Munich location, or not discussed Amsterdam with three 18/36 and 05/23, IIRC - they need to consider departing/arriving traffic from other countries, as it's low and initial descend needs to be a bit more format/coordinated/procedural, according to agreements).

I'd say every airport will be a bit different, even with most common parallel config (two parallel runways, two taxiways to each runway based on assumption to use as opposite traffic taxiways, terminal(s) in betwee runways, independent runways). Even if general config is almost identical between say HKG and LHR, they operate runways differently, from my observations.

Cheers,
Adam
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:57 pm

MLIAA wrote:
DFW works similarly, as does ATL, so I’d assume YYZ would be about the same.


You can also add IAH to the list. Landing west, 26R/26L/27 the northwest corner would normally use 26R, northeast corner 26L along with some blending from the southeast corner which would normally use 27 along with the southwest corner using 27. There is always blending of traffic when need be to not overload one runway while another is being utilized little. Very very much real time coordination item.

Now if there is a chance of putting an arrival on the south runway (27) as opposed to having them land on the far north runway (26R) saving them valuable taxi time then that is taken into consideration as well. But as mentioned there is quite a bit of planning that takes place regarding runway closures, taixway closures, weather conditions impacting the airport, NAVAID outages and the list goes on and on.

Good question from the OP. :thumbsup:
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Alias1024
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:28 pm

LAX is similar as well with arrival direction primarily determining whether 24R or 25L is assigned. SoCal Approach is aware of parking locations and will try to land aircraft on the correct side of the airport if traffic permits.
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e38
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:01 pm

dr1980, I think all the responses above are very good.

With regard to your question, "perhaps this is very airport dependent and variable?" YES.

I am not an air traffic controller, but based on my experience in flight operations at airports throughout the U.S., with reference to your statement, "I’m trying to figure out where the balance of benefit lies between airborne flows and ground flows." In general, under normal conditions, the priority seems to favor airborne sequencing of aircraft, and once the aircraft are on the ground, it becomes up to the ground controller to determine how to get the aircraft from the runway to the parking spot.

Finally, you asked, " At MIA, many cargo facilities are located next to 09/27, so would those cargo arrivals be prioritized for that runway?"
Not necessarily. From my experience operating at Miami, Runway 09/27 seems to be used less often than 12 or 08R, so ATC doesn't specifically sequence cargo aircraft for Runway 09/27; however, if an aircraft requests that runway, it normally is approved. However, if a cargo aircraft lands on Runway 12, it really is not a very long taxi if they are going to Cargo City or the Western Cargo Base.

e38
 
hitower3
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:14 pm

gloom wrote:
A few famous examples from Europe:
(...)
Munich - similar config with 08/26. They are using the runways depending on departure, to separate flows north/south. Basically traffic south (eg Italy) will get the southern rwy while northbound (say nordic countries) will use northern ones.


Dear gloom,

In Munich, the runways are specifically assigned for landings (08R and 26R) and departures (08L and 26L).
The reason is that the runways are longitudinally displaced in such a way that taxi times for both incoming and departing traffic are minimized.

Best regards,
Hendric
 
gloom
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:20 pm

hitower3 wrote:
In Munich, the runways are specifically assigned for landings (08R and 26R) and departures (08L and 26L).
The reason is that the runways are longitudinally displaced in such a way that taxi times for both incoming and departing traffic are minimized.


Thanks for the info. I remember going with my cousin north of 08L (on Besucherhuegel nord) and I believe I've seen both 08L and 08R arrivals (more 08L), and definitely a number of 08L departures. That's what I based my info on. Could it be a preferred setup rather?

Cheers,
Adam
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:30 pm

e38 wrote:
dr1980, I think all the responses above are very good.

With regard to your question, "perhaps this is very airport dependent and variable?" YES.

I am not an air traffic controller, but based on my experience in flight operations at airports throughout the U.S., with reference to your statement, "I’m trying to figure out where the balance of benefit lies between airborne flows and ground flows." In general, under normal conditions, the priority seems to favor airborne sequencing of aircraft, and once the aircraft are on the ground, it becomes up to the ground controller to determine how to get the aircraft from the runway to the parking spot.

Finally, you asked, " At MIA, many cargo facilities are located next to 09/27, so would those cargo arrivals be prioritized for that runway?"
Not necessarily. From my experience operating at Miami, Runway 09/27 seems to be used less often than 12 or 08R, so ATC doesn't specifically sequence cargo aircraft for Runway 09/27; however, if an aircraft requests that runway, it normally is approved. However, if a cargo aircraft lands on Runway 12, it really is not a very long taxi if they are going to Cargo City or the Western Cargo Base.

e38


MIA's RWY 12/30 has been mostly closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially at night when the cargo traffic is highest. Most of the time, AA takes off and lands on RWY 8R/26L, however, in peak traffic times some AA traffic gets routed to RWY 9/27 for landing to facilitate AA takeoffs on 8R/26L . FedEx, UPS and Amerijet usually prefer RWY 8L/26R, but will also use RWY 8R/26L if they are heavy. IBC, government and Gen Av traffic mostly use RWY 8L/26R. The cargo flights using the Eastern & Western "U's" and Cargo City are usually heavies, so they takeoff & land on the 13,000FT. RWY 9/27 most of the time. Other airlines located in the passenger terminals on the south side of MIA will typically land on RWY 9/27, take off on RWY 27 (wind permitting), but they usually take the shorter taxi down to RWY 8R rather than the longer taxi down to RWY 9 for departures.
 
michi
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:55 am

hitower3 wrote:

In Munich, the runways are specifically assigned for landings (08R and 26R) and departures (08L and 26L).
The reason is that the runways are longitudinally displaced in such a way that taxi times for both incoming and departing traffic are minimized.



This is not correct. This concept might have been used in the early days of the airport, but nowadays (pre-covid) both runways where used in mixed mode all the time.

Both runways are used for arrivals and departures. Traffic to/from the north is assigned to the northern rwy and the other way around for the southern runway. Some excemptions are departures towards the northeast. They often take off from the southern rwy when 26 is in use.

Also pilots may ask for a specific landing runway in order to reduce taxi times. If traffic permits these requests are normally granted.
 
iRISH251
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:47 am

gloom wrote:
dr1980 wrote:
Or perhaps this is very airport dependant and variable?


This.

A few famous examples from Europe:
Heathrow - two independent, parallel 09/27. One is arrival, other departure. Both more-or-less equal in terms of runway length, so I think it's workload reduce config that's most usual, 27R arr, 27L dep, or 09L dep 09R arr (IIRC).


LHR nowadays (pre-COVID) does more mixed-mode than in the past, with a predominant landing runway (always 09L when on easterlies) but a small proportion of traffic landing on the other parallel. During the early morning arrival wave both runways tend to be used for landings IIRC. Going back many years, when on westerlies LHR changes the landing runway from one to the other at 1500 local time each day, with 27L used in the morning for a week, followed by 27R the following week, and so on.
 
dr1980
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:36 pm

Thanks for the information everyone! When I’m flight simming I normally assign myself the runways that selfishly results in the least taxi time, but armed with this knowledge I can try to assign myself runways more realistically.
Dave/CYHZ
 
leader1
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:55 pm

All the answers above are all excellent. I am familiar with YYZ ops, so I can comment on those. YYZ often has periods where it's accepting 45+ arrivals in an hour, so you need two arrival runways. Because of the volume, arrivals need to be sequenced accordingly. Those coming from the North and West will use 5/23, and those from the South and East will land on 6R/24L (or 6L/24R, if the outer runway isn't available). So, even though WN's terminal is closer to 5/23, if it is coming in from the South, it needs to be sequenced to land on the runway that's accepting arrivals from there.

During light arrival periods, ATC may accept runway requests since it won't mess up the sequencing. WN will request 5/23 arrivals if they're coming in from the East to shorten the taxi time to their terminal.

YYZ also has noise abatement procedures, which can factor into runway usage decisions, especially at night. So, I notice that they'll land on 24R/L during west flow and depart off 23 and arrive on 5 and depart from 6L during east flow. And because arrival traffic is much lighter at night, they can sequence everything to one runway where it won't cause delays.

When YYZ is running 15L/R or 33L/R ops, it's a different ballgame. Most arrivals land on 15R/33L, but you might have some overflow arrivals on 15L/33R.
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AirKevin
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:58 pm

dr1980 wrote:
Thanks for the information everyone! When I’m flight simming I normally assign myself the runways that selfishly results in the least taxi time, but armed with this knowledge I can try to assign myself runways more realistically.

I'm guilty of doing the same thing, although if ATC is on, sometimes I'll ask for a closer runway.
Captain Kevin
 
hitower3
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:11 pm

gloom wrote:
hitower3 wrote:
In Munich, the runways are specifically assigned for landings (08R and 26R) and departures (08L and 26L).
The reason is that the runways are longitudinally displaced in such a way that taxi times for both incoming and departing traffic are minimized.


Thanks for the info. I remember going with my cousin north of 08L (on Besucherhuegel nord) and I believe I've seen both 08L and 08R arrivals (more 08L), and definitely a number of 08L departures. That's what I based my info on. Could it be a preferred setup rather?

Cheers,
Adam


Looks like my information was outdated, so I stand corrected.
 
leader1
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Re: Parallel Runway Assignment

Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:28 pm

leader1 wrote:
All the answers above are all excellent. I am familiar with YYZ ops, so I can comment on those. YYZ often has periods where it's accepting 45+ arrivals in an hour, so you need two arrival runways. Because of the volume, arrivals need to be sequenced accordingly. Those coming from the North and West will use 5/23, and those from the South and East will land on 6R/24L (or 6L/24R, if the outer runway isn't available). So, even though WN's terminal is closer to 5/23, if it is coming in from the South, it needs to be sequenced to land on the runway that's accepting arrivals from there.

During light arrival periods, ATC may accept runway requests since it won't mess up the sequencing. WN will request 5/23 arrivals if they're coming in from the East to shorten the taxi time to their terminal.

YYZ also has noise abatement procedures, which can factor into runway usage decisions, especially at night. So, I notice that they'll land on 24R/L during west flow and depart off 23 and arrive on 5 and depart from 6L during east flow. And because arrival traffic is much lighter at night, they can sequence everything to one runway where it won't cause delays.

When YYZ is running 15L/R or 33L/R ops, it's a different ballgame. Most arrivals land on 15R/33L, but you might have some overflow arrivals on 15L/33R.


Geez...I'm really having a bad day. WN doesn't even fly to YYZ...I meant WS. That's what happens when you get three hours of sleep.
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