Tower ATC can see aircraft’s destination runway

Approach ATC can see in the name/tag of the aircraft he’s controlling, what runway this aircraft is destined for. This is handy for radar controlling.

I propose that Tower, just as the Approach ATC, can also see this. This way Tower can see which aircrafts are coming for which runway, even before the aircraft connects to his frequency.

ATC’s, please let me know your thoughts on this.

EDIT: moving this from Features to Live > ATC as this is more a discussion topic than a feature request.

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This would be helpful for tower if there is no approach atc, but if there is an approach atc then approach can vector them to the runway they want them to land on

Generally, except for the rare exception, this is fairly evident from the flow of traffic.

For example, if I’m controlling at EGLL, the planes making left traffic are for 27L, those for 27R are making right traffic. It’s fairly easy at a glance to tell for which runway they’re destined. With an active approach, it isn’t all that necessary to even know except for those nearing intercept if you have a guy to sequence in pattern or something.

I’m not sure why it would really matter what the 4th guy in line is gonna do in 10 minutes, I guess.

Can you give me a scenario where this would really be important to know well ahead of time?

Regarding tower without approach, it doesn’t even make sense, @Oli_H; they’re going to whatever runway you decide.


Well in reality, the pilots can’t control which runway they go to. It’s unrealistic that some IF users input the fix for a specific runway in their flight plans, when the traffic at their destination airport could be using an alternate runway.

I’m for this feature if there’s more of a hand off from approach to tower, but not if its the pilots deciding which runway they want to go to and making ATC work around them, which is how this feature sounds like if I understand correctly.

Or am I missing the point entirely?

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Pretty much what I thought, since approach does all that and hands off to twr

Yes, Approach hands the pilots off to Tower. But in that handoff there’s no information what the destination runway is for that aircraft. In airports with parallel runways, such as KSFO, KLAX, EGLL, EDDL and many others, it is often not obvious if the aircraft is being handed off to the left or the right runway.

I agree with Tim, that in most airports, it’s quite obvious for Tower to which runway an aircraft is handed off.

But take for example the famous KSFO. Often both 28L and R are used for inbounds. Many pilots make their flight plan to a specific runway, and request directions for this from Approach. But the Approach ATC may want to guide them to another runway. When the pilot has been handed off to Tower, the pilot can request any runway he wants, sometimes with already a plane on final, as Tower does not know what runway the aircraft was destined for.

This isn’t true. When the pilot switches to your freq, whatever runway they were assigned on Approach is already visible on the strip.

I knew you would say that 😄
And that is true of course, and as Tower I should glance the strip immediately when a new aircraft comes in. But you’re busy and before you know it the pilot has requested the runway, which alters the strip.

And i knew you would say that :)

Which is why I always make sure I’m watching when they switch, so no shenanigans.

As approach, we generally keep the plane through intercept, so they should be lined up on the localizer for the correct runway. If you see them racing to jump over to the other cone it’s a safe bet they weren’t given that one. Usually it’s even more obvious by the fact that there’s probably someone right behind them on the other runway.

This is more fun when they realize to their chagrin that tower and approach are both me and they sheepishly move back over.

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