Taking off RWxx, Departing xxx

I’ve asked so many people this question and they’ve all given me different answers.

Im confused with taking off direction (Taking off RWxx departing xxx) cause some people say it’s the SID direction (which you can see when you choose the SID) and some people say it’s the initial few waypoints that determine the takeoff direction.

Let’s use KLAX as an example;

  • The initial waypoints are going west
  • Then it turns south
  • And the rest of the SID is east

What is the correct way of using the direction?

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I just annoucne whichever direction my destination is, so per say if I’m leaving LAX for HNL I say departing West, even though the SID heads north

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Honestly, the direction you say really won’t matter whatsoever. Personally, I do it the direction where I depart the tower airspace (circle around airport), but I know some people do it differently. Here I would say departing south because that seems to be the direction that the route seems to depart from the immediate airspace of LAX, but again it doesn’t really matter.

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The user guide says the direction you are departing the airspace, so I agree with @AviationFlyer

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From FAA AC 990-66C:

9.5.3 Pre-Takeoff Communications. On the airport’s CTAF, you should communicate and coordinate your takeoff intention with aircraft inbound and in the traffic pattern and announce the runway to be used, the direction of flight on departure, or whether you intend to remain in the traffic pattern. This action will reduce the risk of a surface or midair collision during takeoff. Also, coordinate the takeoff with other traffic in the traffic pattern, traffic inbound for landing, or traffic on a straight-in approach to any of the airport’s runways.

A.6 Departure—Departing the airport’s traffic area. The flight path which begins after takeoff and continues straight ahead along the extended runway centerline. Note: The departure climb continues until reaching a point at least 1/2 mile beyond the departure end of the runway and within 300 feet of the traffic pattern altitude, and the aircraft continues on its direction of flight away from the airport.

I would interpret this to say that following your exit of the pattern, whatever direction you are heading is the direction of departure. In your provided example, I would say that your flight plan generally has you departing the aircraft to the south while it is still in LAX airspace.

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It generally makes sense to use the airspace but when you’re in KLAX it’s hard to tell what airspace is for which airport

If you’re controlling ATC it can really help to avoid separation busts

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So I’d announce “Taking off RW25R departing south”?

The truth is whenever I’m controlling, I couldn’t care less about what direction you say. People have various interpretations so A. it’s never consistent and B. just the direction won’t help much to where you’re going as that’s vague compared to just clicking on their plane to see their flight plan which lets me know exactly where they’re going.

Only time I can see direction mattering somewhat is if a plane is departing without a flight plan, in which the direction would be a little more helpful. But even then, a direction doesn’t really a give a lot to go off of.

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I say north judging the major cardinal direction it faces. for instance, if the direction is northeast, but points mostly north, I say north

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Yeah I guess you’re right

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