Using 4 Runways at PHNL

on approach just now at PHNL, I was giving everyone whatever runway they asked for. As a result, I couldn’t bring people into a particular runway with a consistent spacing (3-5mi is the goal). When you are setting people up for the 04’s you need to provide spacing for those landing on the 08’s, and visa versa.

I had a number of people checking in constantly and a few who quit (out of frustration I assume), probably because I was taking them on a long downwind to provide spacing for the intersecting runway.

If you’re one of those guys, please take a look at the map next time, and you’ll see what’s going on.

I suppose some might not realize you can’t have aircraft on intersecting runways where they may collide at the intersection. So… now you know.


It’s all about understanding the bigger picture. Pilots must remember they are not the only ones in the airspace and the controller will be adjusting them to accommodate for other aircraft. Even if it feels like you’ve been forgotten and you’re on a scenic route, instead if checking in again and again “with you” or “stand by”, follow instructions and patience and you’ll be on final before you know it.


I am not enough of an expert on PHNL to know if IRL they use both 08L and also 04R at same time for operations? Perhaps someone who does know can enlighten me?

With the current airspace restrictions in the region we can only fly routes inbound from the South East, so I try and fly the JULLE FIVE ARRIVAL into Waypoint ALANA and then I am set up for either 08L or 04R accordingly.

There are two holding locations, one at ALANA and one at JULLE that ATC can use to good effect to hold traffic when needed for spacing.

Pilots reading this plate for the first time note that on the lines between the waypoints it tells you the height to fly at and the course to fly. The numbers in brackets below the course to fly shows the leg distance.

It is worth both pilots and ATC to study the various charts before flying as it helps your understanding as well as by planning to fly the various approaches will help other pilots and ATCs job that little bit easier.


I was one of the aircraft that was caught up in this. After reading this it makes more sense on why you did what you did. You where giving me vectors for 08L, and then just stopped. I was super confused. Next time, maybe say expect vectors to 04R, or announce a runway change, just to let the pilots know you’re changing the runway you’re giving vectors too.

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Great ATC work @GHamsz, Vectoring me to 04R. Maybe you remember me? I was Air New Zealand 414.

@GHamsz… As a matter of interest as @David_Lockwood pointed out there are 2+ Holding Points enroute to the Rwy’s cited at the aerodrome you serviced. I overflew and noted the gaggle but no one holding. In my travels I note very few Controller generate Holds for flow control. Woulda,coulda, shudder…I feel your pain!
Regards, Max


There was one aircraft I was mistakenly vectoring for 8L. I realized it as I went to clear him and switched him at that time. That was definitely an oversight on my part! If that was you, I apologize, it shouldn’t have gone down like that.

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Unfortunately I can’t use holds! Not sure if its device related, but many times when I give a hold it goes to the wrong aircraft, so I avoid it like the plague. Imagine what happens if you give a hold and it randomly goes to one of the 20 aircraft on frequency. You have to find him, give him a new heading, all while continuing to vector everyone else.

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I’m not sure if that was me, my callsign is N-LW37. In my situation, I think you must of decided to 04R in the middle of my approach.

I was coming close to missing the turn for 08L, so I checked in, and you said to avoid duplicate messages, and once I passed the turn for both 08L and 08R, I announced a missed approach and started to turn away from the airport. You responded with telling me to check the fourms, so I left in fear of being ghosted.

What had me confused was the plane in front of methat was being vectored for 08L, had just landed, so I thought we could still land there. I simply thought you forgot about me, frequency was very busy.

I very much appreciate the explaination, I was worried I had done something wrong.

Thank you!

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@GHamsz… I understand the Tech Problem with Holds it was discussed here months ago. I’m chagrined the Holding programming fix remains uncorrected. One needs all the old Approach tool in their kit to ez the workload. Seems you guys need a Union with an aggressive Rep, LOL… “You do good work” GH.
Regards, Max


I do remember that! I turned and cleared you for 8R or L, you turned, then called missed approach. You were on a perfect heading to intercept, I even commented to that affect on our slack channel. I gave you a missed approach instruction, and was going to bring you back around when you quit. No wait… that was another guy. 😂

I couldn’t turn you for a “normal approach” for 08 because of inbounds on 04. My plan was to have you fly past the localizer, then turn you east and finally clear you. That additional flying time would guarantee the 04 arrival would land before you


To tell the truth, this was an experiment to see if I could give everyone whatever runway they wanted. As a result, I had to give some odd approaches for spacing. Until holds work for me, I’m reverting back to assigning runways as a function of your distance from the field.

This is much easier for me, and results in a more familiar approach for pilots


It’s fine. Normally I play while in Data not on wifi, so my service tends to fluctuate, and I won’t receive instructions sometimes. That’s what I feared had happened, and I got more worried since it was expert and not TS1.

As said, thank you for the explaination. Glad I didn’t do anything wrong, and that it was just a misunderstanding/miscommunication.

I would like to complement you on your work though, it was impressive. You gave me vectors to guide me through mountains, even though I was way above them. I thought it was really impressive you were able to vector me through them.

Again, thank you!


5000 clears everything except one peak in the north west part of the island. Once you clear the last ridge you descend to 3000-4000 depending on when I plan on turning you base. Pretty straight forward.


Question why would you announce a missed approach, when you where never cleared for the approach in the first place?


As stated in my second reply to GH, I usually play with data rather than wifi, and thus meaning my service does fluctuate, and there’s been times I’ve missed instructions, as in I never received them.

I figured this had happened, and I had missed GHs instruction to turn, so I called a missed approach. After he said to check the fourms after I called the missed approach, I realized I didn’t miss it and that he hadn’t sent one.

Ah if you had missed after being instruct I can guaranteed you’d know about it. Probably prior to you realizing it.


I cleared the plane on 08 (the one in front of you), then the plane on 04, so in order to guarantee spacing between the you and the guy on 04, I had to give you that circuitous route.

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I’ll reiterate what I’ve said a few times in the past. It’s best to follow instructions, and wait and see what happens when it’s busy. If something seems off (flying into a mountain, or out of the region) you need to take control and do whatever is necessary, then take a picture and ask the controller what was going on. But give us a chance to implement our plan.


Well I wouldn’t just fly into a mountain 😂