Thread: Ask the staffer
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Old Jun 24, 19, 12:28 pm
Heathrow Tower
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: LHR Air Traffic Control
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 613
Originally Posted by Lost-in-Space View Post
This one for the ATCOs:

When (if?!) the third runway is operating at LHR, how will it be used? To get a balanced utilisation of all three runways, will one be in mixed mode i.e. departures and landings? And, if so, which runway would be mixed mode?

Heathrow Airport are planning to use the 3 runways in four different configurations and rotate through them to provide respite.

You can see them described in the latest consultation that has just opened.

Essentially, if you consider working from northernmost to southernmost, and where M=Mixed, D=Departures and L=Landing, the modes will be;

Mixed mode won’t be a planned configuration on the middle runway, because the missed approach procedure has to go straight ahead (there’s a runway either side), which means it will conflict with a departure from the same runway (ideally you’d want the missed approach to turn away from the runway if there’s a departure just getting airborne). To enable mixed mode on the middle runway, you’d have to build in a procedural longitudinal separation, for example, the departure must be rolling by the time the inbound is at 6nm from touchdown (so that if there is a go around, there’s enough separation from the departure).....this restriction would cripple the throughput of that runway.

Hope that makes sense!

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