Adjustment weather limits dependent runway use

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As of 1 December 2016, different runway combinations will be used at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol when the cloud base ranges between 1,000 and 2,000 feet. This ensures that safety remains guaranteed.


Schiphol’s runway system includes converging runways. When an airplane makes a go-around during its approach of one of these runways, this causes it to cross the flight path of another runway. By setting requirements for minimum visibility and the cloud base, the air traffic controller can effectively monitor these activities from the control tower and intervene in a timely manner to maintain safety. This is called dependent runway use. In view of the increase in air traffic, improvements in airplanes’ climb performance and growing standardisation in the handling of air traffic, Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) has concluded that the existing minimum altitude of 1,000 feet (approximately 330 metres) for the cloud base no longer suffices. To guarantee safety at all times, LVNL has decided to only use dependent, converging runway combinations when the cloud base lies above 2,000 feet (approximately 660 metres). This gives the air traffic controller more time to recognise a go-around and issue additional instructions where required. In concrete terms, this measure will lead to the use of more independent runway combinations, as is the case with parallel runways during take-offs. There will be no changes to the weather limits for parallel runway use.

Impact on runway use

The new safety measure will have an impact on runway use when the cloud base lies between 1,000 and 2,000 feet. This is expected [1] to lead to less use of the Kaagbaan (06) and Buitenveldertbaan (27) runways for landings and less use of Kaagbaan (24) for take-offs. It is expected to result in a higher number of landings on Zwanenburgbaan (18C/36C), Aalsmeerbaan (36R) and Schiphol-Oostbaan (22) and take-offs from Aalsmeerbaan (18L). Approximately one percent of the total number of landings at Schiphol will shift to a different runway, and approximately two percent of the take-offs.


[1] Based on runway use prognosis for 2017