Heathrow Runway usage in IF Live

Well, first things first, hope everyone is doing good out there with the Coronavirus crisis. Anyhow I’d like to discuss and ask why do atc use 09L for departures? From a person who has been living near LHR for most their lives a departure on 09L hasn’t occurred, don’t believe me try and find a video on YT, try looking on FR24 (When air traffic picks up again), or visit the airport (If you can). It is essentially illegal to depart off 09L as your breaking the ‘Cranford Agreement - The Cranford Protocol or Cranford Agreement was an oral undertaking given in 1952 by the British Government to the residents of Cranford in London regarding the usage of the runways at London Heathrow Airport to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.’ which inhibits the departures off 09L now straight to the point, I’m currently flying as Speedbird 428 to Paris prior to departure I requested pushback for 09R, which was given, however it all went wrong when I requested taxi to 09R, was given 09L instead. This is all on the ‘Expert’ Server btw, so please could we do something about 09L departures something (Like a TFR similar to one placed for LGW).


Heathrow sees so much more traffic in IF (mostly in the Training Server). I don’t know if this would be possible. Taxi times would be insane.

Given the huge amount of traffic Heathrow will see today - it will be impossible to just use 09R for departures! Also 09R/27L is closed IRL due to the COVID-19 outbreak - so we can’t replicate IRL procedures right now…

The controllers at EGLL are working hard to clear and ensure quality services to everyone. To do so and to benefit you as well, both runways are in affect to flow traffic out faster so you won’t have to sit behind 15 others waiting to takeoff from one runway. With the demand of high traffic, sometimes we need to put quality over realism to ensure we can deliver the quality we always strive for.


COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be IF Live last time I checked, anyways 09R departures is done on a day to day basis, planes are often given intersection departures etc etc, speeds up the process and still gets planes out in around 66 seconds each on average. You could always have a setup like that in IF Live, for a person like me who lives near LHR and seeing ATC dish out take off commands for 09L is just a bit too wrong after all this is the ‘Expert Server’.

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Despite that, having many planes at once controllers need to flow the traffic out to get more people off the ground. Sometimes we sacrifice realism to achieve quality. If you have a problem with it you can request for that runway to taxi to. :)

Obviously didn’t read the main post,

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Again, sometimes we won’t be able to give certain runways due to traffic demand. (Apologizes I forgot you mentioned that part in your main post)

Take a look you will notice i’m trying to only use 09R for deps ;) the majority of planes are on that runway.


Are you sure it is? Currently still traffic departing on 27L according to FR24.

Nonetheless you’re right that one runway will be closed and they will alternate which one some way.

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ATC controllers are trained to use all runways available

ALL available runways should be used – one runway for departures and another runway for arrivals should be avoided if possible.” 7.1.1

Directly from the IFATC Manual. As stated before, the traffic levels aren’t the same as in the real world. In actual fact we have no requirement to follow IRL procedures, although some controllers use it when traffic permits it.


The airport had like 14 or so aircraft, which wasn’t near as busy as AMS yesterday, which imo is still enough to warrant the use of 09R for departures

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Alright i am trying to use 09R but sometimes its not practical i’m trying my best to keep the traffic flowing and not get you to sit there waiting to depart for 30 min, if we were to only use that runway people would complain about the long wait time, theirs no winning for us. please think about the hard work us IFATC do.

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Oh are they still alternating - didn’t realise that!

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That’s what I read, yes. Not necessarily on a daily basis though (probably weekly or something).

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Heathrow runways in IF are a recurring dilemma I’ve had for years, on one hand IFATC is supposed to use all runways (in my opinion an overly generalized rule that can end up backfiring), and the response that is brought up every time is “IF traffic is busier than real traffic”, which while being valid in some cases, at airports like LHR, outside of peak FNF hours, LHR typically handles more traffic in real life.

And unlike IF which still has a rather haphazard and cumbersome system for ATC, LHR has been designed around efficiently operating within the limitations put in place.

LHR runs quite smoothly in real life, but that rarely transfers to IF because it’s rare to see Approach controllers setting up holding stacks over, and running takeoff and landings off separate runways when traffic is high, actually can increase efficiency because when you have a constant stream of traffic landing on one runway, without traffic ever coming to a stop on the runway (i.e. takeoffs) you can reduce the separation needed between landing traffic, and for departures, a continuous flow of planes lining up as the previous departure starts rolling, without the need to hold departures for a plane on final, means traffic can depart faster also.

Ideally a 1 runway for takeoffs/1 for landings system would be implemented but I doubt that’s happening anytime soon due to both the general incompetence of many pilots even on the ES, and a slow, inefficient system for atc communication (using messages instead of voice).
Just my 5¢

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IFATC Manual said we must use all of the runway, and most of the time,realsim is not good for us to control because of the heavy traffic. So do not ask IFATC to follow the realsim.

The Cranford Agreement ended a few years ago - perhaps your controller knew this? ;)

The reason runway alternation isn’t done when on easterlies is that there is quite a bit of work required for the taxiways around the start of 09L which is currently awaiting authorisatrion.

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Yet IRL 09L departures never happen regardless if its ended or not, also ‘In 2010, the then Government confirmed that the Cranford Agreement should be removed, and that Heathrow should take the necessary steps to implement easterly alternation as soon as possible to ensure a fairer distribution of noise when operating on easterlies.’