How To Have the Best Possible Session at London Heathrow

June, 25, 2021 by

When IFATC regions were introduced, I knew I had to choose my home region of EU-West. Ever since the 1st of May, I have tried to control EGLL on a regular basis; therefore, during this period of time, I have figured out certain tips and tricks that I will share with you today to make your sessions at EGLL the best they can be.

As we can see in the airport diagram, EGLL has two runways the north runway, 09L/27R and the south runway 09R/27L. Depending on traffic levels, no “light aircraft” and “no pattern work allowed” are recommended in the ATIS. Secondly, per 4.1.4 in the ATC manual, all runways should be used. Therefore, depending on weather conditions, both 09s or 27s should be used for take-off and landing. This will make your life much easier because you can spread traffic across the two runways, which will also provide a much more efficient service to the pilots, both inbound and on the ground.

As there is a north and south runway, traffic can be spread accordingly. Inbound traffic is simple, if the pilot is north of the airport, they should be vectored to the northern runway and any pilot south of the airport should be vectored to the southern runway. If approach or center is active, then you would need to communicate this to them just to make sure you are on the same page. Traffic on the ground works in a similar way. If you can draw a line in your head in the middle of the airport, any traffic above this line should be sent to the northern runway and any traffic below it should be sent to the southern runway. However, if the plane is roughly central then they should be assigned the runway with the least traffic.

Oliver Pitcher is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Officer and a passionate contoller who enjoys the challenge of large amounts of traffic. He loves controlling the FNF hub and his local(ish) airport of London Heathrow on a regular basis.