Intersecting Runway Arrivals

Hello all, I’m currently doing my IFATC training and getting close to the practical but my only problem is separation issues. How do you know if aircraft have enough separation or not when they are on final so I don’t have to give go arounds every time? I’ve been told as long as the intersection is clear on the runway it’s fine but I’ve had aircraft go around just because they would be on the runways (separate) at the same time.

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This is the FAA guidance on intersecting runways or flight paths. IFATC mirrors this instruction. Please ask further questions.

Ref 7110.65Y


So when two aircraft are either side of their runways cone, and o tel them to extend downwind, when do I tell them to turn base so they are the same distance from the intersection?

That’s up to your judgement. No book can tell you that exact circumstance. The best trick is to think of flying miles, how far does the airplane need to fly to be at the threshold? Are they on an extended crosswind, downwind, or upwind?

Remember how many miles per minute they are going to cover. 60kts = 1 mile per minute.
120 = 2 miles per minute, etc in multiples of 60kts

Are you familiar with base calls etc? That is vital for intersecting runways.

Also, you have to take your aircraft type into account. If you have a GA aircraft that is slow on one runway, and a jet engine behind him on the other runway, that naturally fly faster, you will need to give extra spacing to make up for the speed difference and to ensure no conflicts

I’m very familiar with base calls. I run intersecting runway ops all the time on expert. It comes with experience but you can use math to figure it out.

Assuming most people fly jets. Most aircraft have a runway occupancy time of 1 minute or less. Most aircraft have a Final Approach Speed of 120-140kts meaning you should have around 2-3 miles between arrivals. Be careful because sometimes people take the runway for too long or some people fly final too fast. Just adjust for aircraft type and speed with flying miles. Slow behind fast

@VVBA6 I have no doubt you are familiar, I’m referring to @anon70772274 🙂

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Lol oops thought you were him for a second

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But yes I agree with your “slow behind fast” that is better indeed, I’m just saying for incase he finds himself in that situation.

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Yes I am familiar but it still doesn’t help.

Aircraft A, who is on final, passes aircraft B, who is on downwind, wait approximately 30 seconds to turn aircraft B on base.

Assuming both aircraft are flying 60kts the separation speed as they pass each other is 120kts. You’ve now gained 1 mile separation. Aircraft B has to fly 1 mile base adding to a total of 2 miles separation or 2 minutes between aircraft on the same runway.

The problem is that I usually have both aircraft on downwind, base or final at the same time and I can’t make separation without causing problems all throughout the pattern.

If they are both on downwind tell one of them you’ll call their base and tell the other to turn base. Wait a proper amount of time and then turn the other.

If they are both on base you can use speed adjustments or 360s to adjust their pattern.

If none of it works out and they are on final you can try to use speed adjustments to achieve your spacing. However in accordance with the paragraphs above you must achieve separation before the 2nd aircraft passes threshold.

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