Runway Colors

Hello IFC I was controlling KSFO the other day and noticed the runway colors were a lot different on both the screen and taxiing instructions. This has happened many many times to me so which one should I trust when instructing runway instructions?

Thank You,

I usually just check flightradar24 to see which runways are being used



The runway colours don’t really bare much to which runways are being used. Sometimes they’re slow to update, sometimes they’re sensitive and update for a few knots in a different direction.

Use the METAR (ie. that screenshot says there is a wind of 5kn at 240-degrees, so use 19s and 28s) instead to gauge which should be used.

Don’t think this is a #support issue though, perhaps better placed in #atc—you looking more for a tip than a technical fix.



Okay thank you both for the help

To be able to determine runway usage without the guidance colours, you just need to figure out which runway(s) has a 90° difference to the current wind heading and that would suffice (or the closest to it if there are non for whatever reason). If you want to go further and actually determine if you are forced to use any specific runway(s), you can use this article by wikipedia and head down to the aeronautical calculations section. For clarification, they got the angle by subtracting the runway and wind heading, you also usually use the opposite runway if and when the tailwind is 10 knots or greater otherwise it is fine.

You also may want to move this to the ATC category if you are not complaning about the runway guidance colours in either menu being different as patrickv suggested 😅. I believe that may come from the one in the instructions menu perhaps showing the guidances a few minutes in the future before the METAR officially updates. Although I am unsure if this is correct, it is my best shot.


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