Use all available runways

January, 20, 2022 by

As an Air Traffic Controller you should always strive to use all available runways to the max extent possible as your runways are one of your most valuable resources.

If you are manning the ATIS frequency always try to enable all available runways which could be used in the current airfield configuration. As the controller you will always have the final say on who goes where.

When most people request pusback or taxi they don’t request a specific runway. This gives you the freedom to decide what runway would be best to assign them anyway. But here and there you will get someone who requests a specific runway. Do your best to accommodate him. If they want to taxi to the other side of the airport to a certain runway, then let him. But always note, you as the controller have the final say and you should use your best judgement on how this will affect other traffic in your airfield.

The goal is to get everyone out and in as fast as possible. When it’s busy the way to go is to send everyone to the closest available runway. But there is a fine line, you want to reduce taxi times but also don’t want to lose that time by making them wait in line for departure for a long time. This is why it’s important for you as ground controller to be aware of what’s happening in your airfield at all times. Spread out the traffic between all the runways.

Keep an eye on what runway has less arrivals and send more people there. Do this to help each other out! Remember, when it’s busy communication is key.

Juan Oosthuizen is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and real-world PPL student pilot.