(This is an educational rant. Please give me feedback. Pilots, experienced ATC’s, am I right in not bending over backwards to accommodate? Please let me know!!)
Dear pilot: I see you requesting 07L/25R at KLAX repeatedly. I’m not gonna give it to you. Here’s why:
Whenever I ATC at KLAX I get planes unhappy with their runway assignment. Runway 07L/25R is the longest runway at KLAX as you can see here:
It’s 12,069 feet long, plenty of room for a comfortable landing, even with a couple of unprofessional bounces. The difference is actually marked enough that you can tell 07L/25R is the longest at a mere glance - you don’t even have to open the runways tab to get the exact measurements. It therefore acts as a pilot magnet - who wouldn’t want an easy landing? That’s why about 50-75% of pilots on playground come in requesting 07L/25R, even though it’s only 25% of the available runways! And unlike some other airports, those other runways aren’t short, dinky ones! 07R/25L, 06R/24L and 06L/24R are 11,061, 10,869 and 8,910 respectively. The last is enough for even an a380 to land! So you can see that if you have control of your plane, you don’t need 07L/25R! It’s overkill! And if you haven’t yet learnt to control your plane and for some reason still insist on flying in the training server, let’s face it: you’re gonna crash a few times before you do learn to control it.
So we’ve established that you don’t really need 07L/25R. “Okay”, I hear you say, “I don’t NEED 07L/25R. But why not just let me land there once I’m asking? What’s the harm?” Firstly, granted. Go ahead and try. Request a runway change. But if I say ‘unable’, let it be. Don’t ask again. I understand what you want, but won’t accommodate you. And here’s why:
As I mentioned before, 50-75% of planes are asking for 07L/25R. KLAX gets pretty busy, and I can’t fit you all in for 07L/25R. When it’s not so busy, I do make an effort to give you 07L/25R, and even when it is, I do sometimes try for it every once in a while. But I can’t do it very often for the next reason: most planes on the ground are taxiing to and waiting at 07L/25R. Most of the passenger gates are on the south side of the airport. When it’s busy, I have a line of planes waiting to depart 07L/25R, and I want to depart them in a timely fashion. And though I rush them (cleared for immediate takeoff), they often take some time to actually start their takeoff roll, meaning that even if I try to squeeze you in, I often end up having to send you around, and that’s something we BOTH hate (not to mention something you often ignore leading to a catastrophic crash and a closure of the runway 😉).
In summary, go ahead. Request 25R (yeah the title of this post is kinda clickbait). If I’m feeling magnanimous and generous I’ll try to squeeze you in. But it might not work, and more importantly, I might say no. If that happens, stop there. Accept whatever other runway I’ve assigned you. There’s no good reason you can’t.