Yesterday at KGPI while preparing my flight, I received this ATIS:
Wind 007, with ILS RWY 2, made sense. But, landing and departing using rwy 20??? why? Well, ATC sent me to RWY 20 for take off. I don’t understand why. All my departure plan was wrong.
But this isn’t end here. Approaching to KMSO I started to hear the ATIS:
Why being active rwy 30, in the second sentence claims: landing and departing using RWY 12??? Finally ATC sent me to land in RWY 30.
In the first case, the final runway assignment doesn’t follow the wind direction. But in the second one, although is claimed landing and departing rwy 12, was correct: ATC ordered me to land using rwy 30.
What is the difference between the first sentence (visual runway active) and the second one (landing and departing…). I’ve been searching information about this topic, but I didn’t find anything (beyond the usual complaints about ATC).
It’s frustrating because I’m not sure which runway is active. I have to wait to be 10 miles to contact with tower and know which one is. And sometimes its a problem, because I can’t prepare the approach correctly.
Is this a bug or I’m missing something?
Ive noticed this a fair bit using the sims ATC, so I don’t. But if I do, I look at the charts and see why. As an example, CYEG (Edmonton) has two converging runways, 12/30 and 02/20, if winds were 060@7 say, to keep a good flow of traffic, ATC may use 02 for landing and 12 for departures…
This is only an educated guess because I am NOT an ATC. But this works in my headspace. :O).
If anyone knows better, let me know.
In these cases both airports have crossing runways but the ATIS is referring to the opposite runways (KGPI 2/20 and KMSO 30/12) with the wind heading clearly towards one of them. I don’t understand it.
And as I told, I don’t know the difference between these two sentences in the ATIS, one for visual and another one for departure and landing.
ATIS does not provide the entire “big picture”, only enough information to arrive and depart. To see and understand the “big picture”, look at the airport’s charts. First, KGPI has only one ILS approach and it is to runway 02. But if ATIS says that runway 20 is in use, what can a pilot do if they need to use the ILS? Go to their alternate airport?
Second, the airport is in a valley surrounded by lots of terrain obstacles ie mountains. Airports with high mountains nearby often have unusual approach and departure procedures. The two SIDs at KGPI are for departing using runway 20, one SID includes a departure for runway 2. It appears the runway 20 is the “favored” runway even if there is a small tailwind.
If only runway 20 is used for arrivals I assume a pilot using the ILS 02 approach would be cleared for “Circle to land runway 20”, not a straight-in to runway 02.
I’ve been testing ATC and METAR these days with custom weather and I’ve detected that both are strongly attached with the flight plan created in the world map. Once loaded the flight, if you change the wind direction, both of them still will send you to the runway selected in the world map. Wherever the wind direction come from.
I’ve created situations with more than 15kts with the same heading of the opposite runway selected in the world map, and the ATC still asigns the previously selected.
Another test: Creating a new flight, without setting any waypoint or destination, the moment you choose a parking spot, automatically a departure runway is selected. If for any reason the weather has not been loaded at that moment (delay with the server, problem with connection, etc) there will be high possibilities that the runway selected wont be the correct one and it will be announce as active runway in the METAR. Obviously, the runway with ILS will be operative for executing a circle to land, but the active runway for dep and landing will be the one selected at the world map.
With the destination happens the same. And this is problematic for a medium-long hauls, where the meteo may has changed once your arrive.