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flySFO
Topic Author
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:26 am

Runway Departure/Arrival Flows

Fri May 20, 2011 3:05 am

I apologize if there is already a post about this, but I didn't know the correct terminology to search for. In any event, I was wondering how typical and alternate runway departure/arrival flows (im sure there is a more technical term for this) for your home airports?

For example, for SJC the norm is depart 30R, arrive 30L; alternate it is depart 12L arrive 12R.

For SFO, the norm is heavies depart 28R/L, everyone else depart 1R/L, all arrivals on 28R/L. I'm not sure what the alternate(s) configurations are, but I have landed on 19R/L before during some bad weather and I think I saw departures on the 10s.

For LAX, departures are on 24L and 25R (inner runways) and arrivals are 25L and 24R (outer runways). I believe the alternate is just the exact opposite, landing over the water and taking off over the LA basin.

What type of weather (winds, etc.) dictate a change in runway ops? Is anything else other than weather cause for a change?

I've seen this mostly with LAX but I'm sure it happens all the time: How much does the gate location affect the choice of arrival/departure runway (obviously with more than one active runway)? For example, at LAX WN always takes off 24L because it is right next to Terminal 1 and 24R for arrivals. On the other hand, AA and UA seem to arrive on which ever runway is closer to its flight path (24R for arrivals from the north, etc.) but always depart 25R.

flySFO
 
jgw787
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:26 pm

RE: Runway Departure/Arrival Flows

Fri May 20, 2011 3:37 am

Quoting flySFO (Thread starter):
For SFO, the norm is heavies depart 28R/L, everyone else depart 1R/L, all arrivals on 28R/L. I'm not sure what the alternate(s) configurations are, but I have landed on 19R/L before during some bad weather and I think I saw departures on the 10s.

Some times when the fog is heavy planes have to use 10R/L so that planes don't hit the hill.
 
F9Fan
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2004 2:42 pm

RE: Runway Departure/Arrival Flows

Fri May 20, 2011 3:55 am

You must be thinking of crosswind runways. For winds, they are used when the crosswind component of the primary runway is greater than 10 knots. Also, not all runways have full ILS instrumentation, particularly at medium sized airports. Therefore, when weather is poor, the ILS runways will be used over the primary ones (but usually the primary runways also have the higher ILS instrumentation.

As for specific runways for specific airlines, ATC will try to assign runways that are most convienant for the particular airline. If ATC forgets, then the pilot can request a specific runway, which will usually be granted if it would not cause any problems.
 
rfields5421
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: Runway Departure/Arrival Flows

Fri May 20, 2011 4:21 am

The general trend is for aircraft to land on the outer runways and to takeoff on the runways closest to their terminal or parking spot.

Aircraft arriving at airports like LAX are normally assigned to the outer runway closest to their departure airport, but there are plenty of exceptions. As you mentioned Southwest flights will file for a STAR and request an approach for the landing runway closest to their terminal / parking spot. Many other airlines do the same thing.

Normally an airplane will taxi to the closest departure runway, even if that may require some additional routing once the plane is aloft to head toward the desintation, such as the aircraft which takeoff from the south runway at LAX headed for SFO. The studies have shown the plane would use more fuel and more time to taxi across the airport to use the north runway than if they took off on the south runway and make a couple extra turns in the air.

Those are generalities. There are lost of specific airport by airport and airline by airline exceptions.

While not as common in the US as in Europe - there are many airports where certain runways are not used at specific times of day - for control of the aircraft noise - usually at night over homes. Even if it means tailwind takeoffs and landings - unless the tailwind is very strong.

We've even seen cases where a heavy long-haul aircraft will request, and be granted takeoff in the opposite direction of the current airport operation - because it needs every inch of runway and knot of wind to make the takeoff legal.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
26point2
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RE: Runway Departure/Arrival Flows

Fri May 20, 2011 1:25 pm

LAX uses often 6/7 configuration at night for noise.

SJC/SFO/OAK have a unique arrangement in that they usually have to coordinate directional flow together.
 
atct
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:42 am

RE: Runway Departure/Arrival Flows

Sun May 22, 2011 2:26 pm

There are about 50 different factors into runway flow configurations. Here are a few

1. Prevailing Wind
2. Forcasted Wind
3. Runway Usage (Departure Demand / Arrival Demand)
4. Equipment Limitations (ILS, VOR, NDB, etc. approaches)
5. Equipment Outages (ILS OTS etc.)
6. LAHSO Availability
7. Taxiway Congestion
8. Ramp (apron) operations
9. Taxiway/Runway Closures
10. General Maintenance (Grass cutting, changing light bulbs, etc.)
11. Noise Abatement (bah!)

and the list goes on and on. At my airport we prefer to go "West." (IAH) We prefer to land 26L/27 and offload excess arrivals to 26R. Depart 15L and R. If we have a large departure push with little arrival need, we'll depart 26L or 26R and land the other 2 "outboards." If we have to land east, or depart 33R/L due to winds, it changes everything from taxi routes to what LAHSO operations we can use etc.

Hope that helps.

ATCT
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InnocuousFox
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RE: Runway Departure/Arrival Flows

Sun May 22, 2011 3:12 pm

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 4):
SJC/SFO/OAK have a unique arrangement in that they usually have to coordinate directional flow together.

I believe that the same goes for the NYC trio, DFW/DAL, and for ORD/MDW. The fact that usually the winds are the same for all airports in an area kinda assists that process anyway.
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
 
timz
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: Runway Departure/Arrival Flows

Sun May 22, 2011 9:50 pm

Dunno how much of a nuisance it is, but it's not that rare for OAK to be using runway 11 while SFO is using the 28s. (Departures off 11 then turn right and climb NW over the bay, so SFO doesn't depart off runways 1 then.) SFO using 28 while SJC is using 12 is known to happen--dunno how often.
 
tower
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:54 pm

RE: Runway Departure/Arrival Flows

Sun May 22, 2011 11:17 pm

I imagine wind and noise abadement are big factors for other airports. But here it is at my airport:

If the winds allow it and we aren't in noise abadement part of the night, we run a south flow. Land 18L/C/R and depart 18L/C & 27. If you're arriving from the east and south, odds are you'll land on 18L. Same goes for departure to the east and south. If you come from the west or south west, expect 18C. Depatures south west bound typically file for a southwest bound SID which will take them off of 18C. More of a "stright west" or NW destination would most likely use 27 for departure due to their SID.

We will change runway configs due to wind. And if winds are strong from the west, we go straight 27.
 
aklrno
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:18 pm

RE: Runway Departure/Arrival Flows

Mon May 23, 2011 1:06 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 3):
Aircraft arriving at airports like LAX are normally assigned to the outer runway closest to their departure airport, but there are plenty of exceptions. As you mentioned Southwest flights will file for a STAR and request an approach for the landing runway closest to their terminal / parking spot. Many other airlines do the same thing.

Normally an airplane will taxi to the closest departure runway, even if that may require some additional routing once the plane is aloft to head toward the desintation, such as the aircraft which takeoff from the south runway at LAX headed for SFO. The studies have shown the plane would use more fuel and more time to taxi across the airport to use the north runway than if they took off on the south runway and make a couple extra turns in the air.


My experience at LAX (maybe several hundred times) is that flights from the east may get runways based on their terminal location, but flights approaching from the north always arrive on 24R and flights from the south (like from Australia/New Zealand) always land on 25L. I always assumed that ATC doesn't want them crossing the path of other arriving aircraft.

Long haul flights from the north terminals (T-2 or TBIT north) sometimes taxi around the whole airport to use 25R for departure because of its length. I can tell if my LAX-AKL flight is probably going to be a bit shorter if we taxi to 24L. I suspect it means there are minimal headwinds and the fuel load is lighter.

I wonder how much fuel NZ burns taking a 747 all the way around.
 
StarAC17
Posts: 3809
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:54 am

RE: Runway Departure/Arrival Flows

Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:19 pm

Quoting aklrno (Reply 9):
My experience at LAX (maybe several hundred times) is that flights from the east may get runways based on their terminal location, but flights approaching from the north always arrive on 24R and flights from the south (like from Australia/New Zealand) always land on 25L.

I have only been to LAX a few times but I have experienced a few irregularities from what it seemed to me.

Once I was flying BNE-LAX on QF in March 2009 and we landed on 24R in the morning I was expecting 25L/7R especially because that flight goes to T4 and not TBIT.

Also I thought when I was fly LAX-NAN on FJ that the plane which was docked on the south end of TBIT and it would have made sense to take off at on 24L/6R but it took off on 7L IIRC.

YYZ also chooses its runways based on the direction you are leaving and coming from most of the time. Most of the flights I have done in and out of there (almost all flights I have taken) follow this. If you are flying anything that has a remotely northern trek from the you are going to use 5/23 and anything that is south of YYZ is going to use 6R/24L for takeoffs and 6L/24R for landings.
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