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Heathrow - No ATC, so Which Runway?


John Pettit

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John Pettit

Westerly winds, no ATC online at EGLL, so which runway do we use?

In the past I have always referred to the <Daytime Runway Aternation> programme for guidance [ see: https://www.heathrow.com/content/dam/heathrow/web/common/documents/company/local-community/noise/operations/runway-alternation/Runway_Alternation_Programme_2021.pdf]   or check EGLL NOTAMS for any temporary restrictions.

However, many do not know of this alternation programme, and it seems to be a 'free for all'. Does Vatsim have any guidance here?

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Fraser Cooper

It's a difficult one.

There isn't anything in the CoC that says pilots should stick to IRL config, just that in the absence of ATC, pilots should broadcast their intentions on UNICOM.

Small grey area. CoC B5.

Would hope that others would 'follow the crowd' if someone was using the correct config but you never know.

Edited by Fraser Cooper
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Lenny Colton
21 hours ago, Fraser Cooper said:

Would hope that others would 'follow the crowd' if someone was using the correct config but you never know.

Hope is sadly the key word here. Fair enough if the airport's empty at 3am and you don't want fly round to the other side, but it does become an issue when you log on LL at 5pm on a Friday to find all 4 runways in use at once.

Of course, when you send the contactmes, people rush to depart as soon as they can, rather than calling and getting put in line for another runway, which just makes things worse.

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