Fed up with active ruwnays

I’m honestly fed up with the ways the runways work, because every time I fly To a destination both runways are either active which just causes chaos or the active runways change from the runways that were active when I was filling my flight plan

Is there any way devs can change this? Because I’ve had enough of it now

Hello. Thank you for your concern. Unfortunately the devs cannot anything as the active runways are all based on current weather.

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If you mean the color of the runways, they change with the winds. Devs can’t control the winds. If you’re talking about runways in use with IFATC, we’ll change them to match up with the best headwinds when able. I’d recommend to not file an Approach until you get closer to the destination, and use a STAR that accommodates as many runways as possible.

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Yh that’s what I’ve done. I’ve just filed a arrival and I’ll see what it’s saying when I wake up

You can also google the METAR and TAF for your destination airport to see what the winds are predicted to be like when you arrive. That way, you can have a much more solid plan. Just google the airport ICAO and then add METAR after it. Ex: KDCA METAR

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Unless you can control the weather, most airports that have two runways have two so traffic can use both. That’s what it is for.

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Expert server controllers will only change the runways in use if current conditions call for it. Winds can be disregarded under 10 knots, as a 5 knot tailwind or crosswind really doesn’t do anyone any harm.

When planning your flight, I’d suggest using weather forecasting tools to determine which runways will be in use when you arrive. A great website that I use is windy.com. At the bottom of your screen, you can slide the timeline to the point at which you’re expected to land.

Another method, as Danny mentioned above, is to choose a STAR that applies to all runways. That way, the only thing you have to do is change your approach.


Regarding multiple directions in use, that probably shouldn’t be happening at controlled airports. Feel free to shoot your controller a message if you ever have any concerns. To find your controller on the community forum, you can use the IFATC Directory.

If this is happening at uncontrolled airports, just go with the flow – do what the majority is doing, even if you disagree.


On the live servers, winds are in real-time, based on what is happening in the world currently. If both runways are green, this just means that both runways are okay to use.

Note that runway colors don’t determine active runways; they only indicate wind in relation to the runway heading.

Green = Headwind, desirable
Orange = Crosswind, less desirable
Red = Tailwind, not desirable

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Mother Nature always wins, just remember that.

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What do you mean both runways are active?

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I think he means that the runways are green in both sides.

Unless the winds are calm that cannot happen. Regardless, you go where ATC sends you.

If there is no ATC then you gotta look at the METAR to see which runway is the most suitable. Yes, I was referring to when the winds are calm.

I wonder if he means 2 parallel runways both being actively used for both departure and arrival? Like, if you plan to arrive on 27R at Heathrow based on departures being from 27L or based on timings but get directed to 27L due to combined departures and arrivals from that runway?

Well, that should not be out of the ordinary at all. We aim to maximize use of all runways for all ops whenever possible. Ultimately, it’s up to ATC to determine which runway each plane should go to based on traffic and other factors.

I mean both are green when usually one is red and one is green/orange

Both are green simply means winds are calm. Orange means there’s crosswinds on the runway, and red means there’s a tailwind component. Like @lucaviness said, the color does not designate whether it’s active or inactive. Active simply applies to whichever runways are being used at the moment.

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You’ll need to look at the future weather for the time of your arrival to guess for a long haul, but it’d just be a guess. Best way to do it is not add in any arrival or approach procedures then when in mid flight before arriving, add in the appropriate STARs and procedures if you plan on using them.

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I think it is not rare that the active runway in use is different from what you have initially filed.

You could only file one STAR and one runway at one time but things such as wind could be changed at anytime.

Even STAR can be changed at last minute, at the discretion of ATC.

For me, I find it interesting to have these happened, as I would need to refile the flight plan in-flight and redo my decent profile. It would be fun.

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Can I also just point out a runway change is realistic and does happen. And it is easier for us in the sim as IRL pilots have to rebrief the approach as well as update the FMC. In the sim, we only have to update the ‘FMC’. Although I know some - including myself - do brief approaches/arrivals, it isn’t 100% required so isn’t really that big of a deal in comparison to the real-world.

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