Charlotte Douglas Airport (KCLT) - A Comprehensive Guide!

A Guide to Metrolina’s Queen Jewel!

A Gtmkm98 Airport Guide - Inspired by Other Guides across the Community!


Charlotte - Douglas International Airport is American Airlines’ response to Atlanta Airport, serving a huge chunk of its domestic flights. Formerly a major U.S. Airways hub, American’s merger with the aforementioned airline made a mega-hub of wild proportions. Not only this, but it is also home to the world’s largest regional jet operation.

As this airport is primarily a domestic hub, there are very few international-suited gates, but the gates can hold everything from the mighty A350 to the tiny X-Cub.

With the 3D Treatment, this airport has grown to be a fairly large traffic zone on Infinite Flight; however, very few people actually understand its procedures and importance to the world’s aviation system.


Passenger Terminals

In the north-central part of the airport lies the passenger terminal, shaped somewhat like a spider, its convenient location makes it very receptive to each traffic flow the airport uses.

Domestic flights are serviced at Concourses A-C and E, and international flights are serviced at Concourse D.


You can use this link to find an extremely convenient airport diagram and more:

Airport Diagram

00078AD (skyvector.com)


Airlines at Each Concourse

Domestic Concourses

Concourse A
Airlines
Air Canada Express (North End)
Contour Airlines (North End)
Southwest (North End)
Spirit (North End)
jetBlue (North End)
Southwest (North End)
United/United Express (North End)
Frontier Airlines (North End)

|American Airlines (South End)|
|Delta Air Lines (South End)|

Concourse B
Airlines
American Airlines
Concourse C
Airlines
American Airlines
Concourse E
Airlines
American Eagle

International Concourses

Concourse D
Airlines
American (International Flights)
Lufthansa
Volaris

Cargo Terminals

Air Cargo
Airlines
Amazon Air
FedEx
UPS Airlines

Runways/Traffic Routes

Charlotte - Douglas Airport has four runways, three of which are parallel.

Runway 5/23

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT - DO NOT USE RUNWAY 5/23 UNLESS IT IS LATE AT NIGHT!!!

Formerly, this runway was the primary landing runway at Charlotte, used frequently with its two other runways. (Hence the old HUSTN arrival and others). However, this is not the case anymore as the third parallel runway has been built. Please only use this runway very late at night for noise abatement (this applies for both takeoffs and landings). At 7502 ft, this is also the shortest runway at the airport, yet another reason not to use it.

On the 5 end, the runway is equipped with Category I ILS and RNAV (GPS) / RNAV (RNP) approaches.

On the 23 end, this runway is equipped with Category I ILS and RNAV (GPS) / RNAV (RNP) approaches.

Runway 18L/36R

The easternmost of the three parallel runways (18/36), this runway is primarily used for easterly and southerly departures and landings from the same direction. At only 8677 ft long, this is the second-shortest runway at the airport.

On the 18L end, this runway is equipped with Category I ILS and RNAV (GPS) approaches.

On the 36R end, this runway is equipped with Category III ILS and RNAV (GPS) approaches.

Runway 18C/36C

This is the longest runway at the airport, at exactly 10000ft. It is the main westerly/northerly departure runway at the airport, serving relatively few landings.

On the 18C end, this runway is Category III ILS equipped and RNAV (GPS) / RNAV (RNP) equipped.

On the 36C end, this runway is Category III ILS equipped and RNAV (GPS) / RNAV (RNP) equipped.

Runway 18R/36L

The westernmost runway at the airport, this is also its newest runway. At 9000ft, this runway serves mainly westerly arrivals.

On the 18R end, this runway is Category III ILS equipped and RNAV (GPS) equipped.

On the 36L end, this runway is Category III ILS equipped and RNAV (GPS) equipped.


Traffic Routes

Departures (North Flow)

North Flow

North Flow

Departures (South Flow)

South Flow

Arrivals

North Flow

South Flow

Night Noise Operations

Note: I am very sorry if taxiway quality and accuracy is terrible, the satellite imagery was not as good as most other airports I have covered.


SIDs/STARs

Like most airports of its size, use of SIDs and STARs is essential at Charlotte - Douglas International Airport. There are SIDs and STARs that serve every direction and need the airport has, and it’s clear it needs them in everyday use.

RNAV Procedure Attention All Users Page

00026DPAAUP (skyvector.com)
00078DPAAUP_C (skyvector.com)

Here is the general page for all KCLT procedures:
CLT - Charlotte/Douglas International Airport | SkyVector

SIDs

Atlanta uses ‘Vector SIDs’, meaning you have to use vectors to reach your RNAV track. When Departure is active, please request vectors and use them to get you to your track. If not available, please make your own vector course that is realistic (does not fly over the airport or in the opposite direction of assigned track).

Two runways are always used for departure - Runways 18C/36C and Runway 18L/36R, and which runway you choose is based on your direction.

IMPORTANT: Maintain runway heading until 1260 ft, where you will continue on runway heading 183 for both 18’s, turn onto heading 330 for Runway 36L, and turn onto heading 025 for Runway 36R. This is shown on charts and mentioned in the AAUP, so it is imperative you follow the proper headings.

Use the runways mentioned for each SID below unless it is Night Noise Operations time, for which you will use a straight-out departure from Runway 5/23.

SID Name Named After Serves Notes
BEAVY5 Unknown Cancun, Savannah, Southwest Florida Use Runway 18L/36R.
ICONS4 Unknown Miami, Orlando, Havana Use Runway 18L/36R
KWEEN4 Charlotte is known as the Queen City. Bermuda, Caribbean Islands, San Juan Use Runway 18L/36R.
LILLS2 Unknown Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, Bermuda (Some Flights) Use Runway 18L/36R.
BARMY4 Unknown Norfolk, Europe, Richmond Use Runway 18L/36R.
KILNS4 Unknown New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. Use Runway 18L/36R
KRITR5 ‘Critter’ Boston, Pittsburgh, Toronto Use Runway 18C/36C.
WEAZL4 ‘Weasel’ Detroit, Cleveland, Charleston - Yeager Use Runway 18C/36C.
JOJJO4 Unknown Chicago, Seattle, Cincinnati NOONN transition is ATC assigned only, do not use. Use Runway 18C/36C.
BOBZY4 Unknown Atlanta, San Francisco, Denver Use Runway 18C/36C.
ESTRR4 Unknown Los Angeles, Dallas-Ft. Worth, New Orleans Use Runway 18C/36C.
Charlotte Two The City of Charlotte All Directions - Radar Vectors For use only by Turbojet Aircraft requesting at or below 10000ft.
Kermit Three Unknown All Directions - Radar Vectors For use only by Turbojet Aircraft requesting at or above 11000ft.
Knights Two The Charlotte Knights All Directions - Radar Vectors For use by Turboprop Aircraft only.

TURBOJETS: After departure, accelerate to 250 kts ASAP. Maintain 8000ft until ATC clearance higher or flight time reaches 10 minutes. Accelerate and maintain 280 kts upon reaching 10000ft, maintain until cleared faster by ATC.

TURBOPROPS: Operate in a manner that will result in the best forward speed and climb rate.

STARs

Charlotte primarily uses RNAV STARs with a few non-RNAV STARs mixed in (these are slowly being phased out over time). These STARs form a group of ‘Gates’ of sorts into the airport, with transitions rendering them available for virtually any airport and direction.

Below, you will see a guide of the STARs and where they serve.

RNAV STARs

STAR Name Named After Serves Notes
STOCR3 Stock Car (Racing) Miami, Orlando, Jamaica Select Runway 36L/23 based on flow for Vertical Navigation Planning Purposes.
MLLET2 Unknown Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, Hatteras Island Do not use unless required for destination, STAR has very little Vertical Navigation Planning Information.
CHSLY5 Unknown Bermuda, New York City, Boston NUUMN transition ATC Assigned Only. Select Runway 18L/36R based on flow for Vertical Navigation Planning Purposes.
PARQR3 Unknown Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit WILUM transition ATC Assigned Only. Select Runway 18R/36L based on flow for Vertical Navigation Planning Purposes.
FLIPZ3 Carowinds Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nashville Select Runway 18R/36L based on flow for Vertical Navigation Planning Purposes.
JONZE2 Charlotte Jones Dallas, San Diego, Houston CNTLR transition for use by KATL departures only. Select Runway 18R/36L based on flow for Vertical Navigation Planning Purposes.
BANKR2 Charlotte’s Role in the Banking Industry Tampa, Orlando, Cancun Select Runway 18R/36L based on flow for Vertical Navigation Planning Purposes.

Non-RNAV STARs

Name Serves Notes
BTSEY 2 North-Northwest Destinations No Restrictions.
LLINN 3 West-Northwest Destinations VXV transition for Turbojets only, HMV and SOT transitions for Turboprops/Props only.
UNARM 6 Southwest Destinations ATC assigned only for Turbojets.
RASLN 3 Southeast Destinations No Restrictions.

Use of IAPs

Due to its parallel runway layout, Charlotte’s primary kind of approaches are Visual and ILS. As the runways are spaced out enough, PRM is not required (even on heavy traffic days).

Not too shabby, ey?

Approach Type Frequency How They Are Used
Visual Common Commonly used due to runway layout, performed via vectors.
ILS Common Commonly used due to runway layout, performed via vectors.
RNAV (GPS) Uncommon Just not often used.
RNAV (RNP) Uncommon Unfortunately, the runway layout and complex airspace of Charlotte does not allow for many RNAV (RNP) approaches to take place.

Thank you so very much for viewing and enjoying this guide, as it took me several hours of research and typing to complete! I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to leave comments below!

How was this Guide?
  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

0 voters

For more zesty content, look at my guide for KATL - another amazing 3D airport!
My Revised Guide to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (KATL) - Ground School / Community Tutorials - Infinite Flight Community

13 Likes

This is a really interesting read, thanks.

It didn’t answer the burning question I have always had about CLT – why are so many of the gates not linked to taxiways?

Find it strange you have to pushback or taxi over bare apron and make you own path to/from the gates.

I know from Google Maps it’s like that IRL too.

Do you know?

1 Like

I probably think it’s mainly done to help regulate traffic flow through its spider-like layout and to fix issues with moving to specific taxiways.