Rolling departures

I don’t understand how rolling departures are meant to speed up departures. Surely it would be quicker to have another aircraft line up and wait while another one is beginning his takeoff roll, when the other aircraft is airborne, then clear the aircraft that’s waiting instead of waiting for the other plane to get airborne then clearing the plane that’s was holding short for takeoff, who isn’t even on the runway yet. The same for landing aircraft, while he’s exiting the runway, have the other plane holding short luaw then clear him for takeoff which is quicker isn’t it? I get how it works for less busy airports when there’s not really a takeoff queue or many landing aircraft, but you don’t need to speed up departures if the airports not busy. Can someone please explain this? Thanks


Rolling departures are a benefit for the departing aircraft if no one is around, but more importantly it helps to get an aircraft out before a landing aircraft if there’s been a gap in traffic.

For example there hasn’t been a departure in the last 5 minutes and now one aircraft is rolling for the departure runway with a second one already on final (and probably others behind it). A rolling departure can help to get aircraft 1 out before other landing traffic (probably even 2-3 or more aircraft in a row) would make them hold short for minutes.


Oh ok, so it usually doesn’t really stay in the atis that long then?

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But wouldn’t it still be faster if you’re trying to clear multiple aircraft for takeoff as quickly as you can to have one luaw while another is beginning his takeoff roll, like I said

I’m not sure lining up behind a rolling aircraft is very realistic either. I’ve never seen it happen. Getting blasted by powerful jets that throw fuel behind them probably isn’t safe either.


Is this topic meant to pilots or atc?

Neither really, I’m just asking how it’s meant to speed up departures

But I’ve seen ifatc get people line up and wait while someone is starting their takeoff roll

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If you’ve seen that, then what’s the point of this post? Is it a complaint to ATC?

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That’s because it helps expedite everything, especially when it is busy

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He is asking how rolling departures are meant to speed up departures

No it’s not a complaint, I’m just asking how it’s meant to speed up departures

Oh, well that’s pretty straightforward. It takes more power and time to get the aircraft rolling from a standstill than a rolling start. Therefore allowing more departures/landings to happen.

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I know its meant to expedite everything, but how? Surely line up and wait then clearing them for takeoff once the other person is air borne would still be quicker, it says in the atc manual not to use luaw when it’s in the atis

See my reply for @PlaneGeek

It speeds up departures simply because you’re not lining up aircraft. You’d just clear the aircraft instead of having them line up & wait.

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Lining up and waiting requires them to stop. Rolling starts are faster. Keep in mind that ATC has to account for aircraft separation.

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But you might as well have them line up and wait while the aircraft ahead is in his takeoff roll?

I was rather talking about IRL here. Not sure how it’s done in IF.

Regarding this:

That’s not the situation which I described. In my scenario we have one departing plane + others on final. No traffic before the departure, only one available runway. To have them depart rolling you can get the first one out before the arrivals come in. Have seen this IRL at smaller and mid-size fields.

How’s it faster if the aircraft holding short isn’t even on the runway yet, if you want separation, can’t you have them line up and wait then clear them for takeoff when the other aircraft is airborne?