Aircraft / Weight / Runway Length

What I’m saying is…normally…the shorter runways are assigned for landings. The longer ones for departures.

The Dreamliner is pretty fine taking off on YSSY’s Runway 25 :)

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34R is 8,000 feet long… that’s more than enough to accommodate landing a 789. Planes way bigger have landed on there before.

Point aside, yes, you can make that judgement call, but not everything is black and white. Lots of variations to account for.


Depending on weight Aussie. I take off heavy, and 25 is short.

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I take off with ‘normal’ load. So RWY 25 for me is perfect 👍👌

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Firstly, vote for this:

Secondly, another suggestion I have spruiked many times (and it’s only likely to happen on expert, but not always) is that controllers need to be aware of the airport they are controlling, the runway specifications, and the local procedures for such. Too many times I see exactly what you are saying - (as an example at YSSY) - A380s etc being instructed to taxi to runway 25 for takeoff as there is a westerly wind blowing. That NEVER happens at YSSY, an A380 always uses 34L / 16R

This is why I like to fly at uncontrolled airports, so I can follow real world procedures, also why I fly TS1 cos I can’t be ghosted and having to follow ludicrously incorrect procedures and flight paths.

The only solution in IF is to request your desired runway, and hope there is enough common sense from the controller to understand you are not just trying to be an annoying troll, and realise why you are making such request. Unfortunately there’s too many trolls and too many unskilled controllers to ever allow this to work properly. Your idea of wanting to advise of your weight etc won’t help, no one is really gonna know the minimum takeoff length required off the top of their head for a certain aircraft at a certain weight and give you a runway change to account for it

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MJames, I agree with most of what you say. The misuse of call sign add-ons is prevalent. And, the ATC’s here just want to get you the hell off of their freqs, especially at super busy fields, and that’s understandable.

So, maybe advising of my weight isn’t helpful…but…maybe it should be a given that longer runways should always be used for departures, and shorter runways for arrivals? Or is that too much to ask?

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Request taxi to 34L.

An expert server controller would (I hope) recognize that as a request for more TO length and grant the request.


I can almost guarantee that I’ll get the dreaded “please follow instructions.”

The aircraft isn’t based on its weight, but it’s MTOW. The runway length you can see already.

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Let’s say that I’m flying a 748. I’ve set my weight at 742,000 lbs (which is less than MTOW) because, being a 747 I’ll be flying a long distance, requiring a large fuel load. At YSSY, runway 07-25 is 8315 ft. Upon pushback I am told to expect runway 25. I pushback and request taxi to 34L. Hopefully, the ATC takes a look and determines that my request is reasonable, though he/she has no idea what my weight is. Like I said, I’ll test the theory, and report back.

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I don’t think you understand. It doesn’t matter what your weight is. It’s your AIRCRAFT that decides it. The MTOW is static, it doesn’t change.

Even though you do a shuttle flight with no pax, you cannot expect a shorter runway. If you request it, sure – but your weight won’t matter at all

The length of a runway, aircraft type and my weight doesn’t matter for take-off? Ummm…ok.

Dude …

I said your weight doesn’t really matter, and the controller has no real use of how much you weigh. your aircraft type / wake turbulence class and runway length is what calculates which runway is okay for you to use. Just because you are flying a shuttle flight, doesn’t mean that you as a heavy can take off from a really small runway…

That’s my point Mats…I don’t want a shorter runway, but rather a longer one.

2 issues here:

  1. it’s not ATC’s job to fly your plane thus making this feature more of an annoyance. Honestly ATC could care less what your weight is!

  2. the call sign heavy has to do with max takeoff weight and also the wake turbulence category. It also denotes to ATC that you can’t always do less than 250 knots below 10,000 in a clean aircraft configuration. Old school DC-10 drivers will tell you many stories of driving 280kts at 5000ft on climb out because they took off HEAVY.

Super was created for the A380… well because it needs extra spacing as you’ve seen in the news recently.

Thus, fly your plane! Ask for what you want and don’t blame others for your faults.

All this being said… SYDNEY RUNWAY 25 IS 8300ft X 150ft… that’s long enough for me to takeoff our 772ER at reduced thrust and 80% load. Unless the temperature was 28C or greater you had plenty of runway!



Heavy, you’re correct. Of course it’s my job as the PIC to fly my aircraft safely.

I just did a test, using a 748, 53% weight, taking off from 25 @ YSSY with a 13knt headwind. Flaps 10, Vr at about 175 kts, worked well.

I wasn’t blaming anyone, nor do I think that I’m at fault for asking what I believe to be a reasonable question.

I will request what I’d like at an airport, what remains to be seen is how ATC responds.

With global flight on the way, realistic fuel burn will become more of an issue, meaning pilots will have to do more planning as to flight distance and fuel load.

So, if I’m more comfortable given aircraft configuration asking for a longer runway, I hope that ATC will grant my request.

Thanks to all for your input!

What do you mean “how ATC responds”?

Runway length required isn’t based on whether you can safely take off from it or not, it is based on if you can stop safely right below V1

Let me be clear. I’m not attacking ATC. For the most part they all do a terrific job.

So, let’s consider this case closed. Again, I appreciate all of the feedback, thank you.

Oh, and I didn’t originally post this in Live ATC…it was moved there. I made this in General. So perhaps that’s why it seemed that I was blaming a particular controller, which isn’t the case at all.