What does departing north, south, east and west mean?

Does it mean which direction your arrival airport is? What does it mean?

Simply what direction you will be travelling in.


Basically just what direction you intend to exit the airspace from :)


I am still confused.


Please check out one of our fantastic tutorials done by Community Manager Mark:


If you take off from London Heathrow heading to EGBB then you are heading a north as you will do a left turn.

If you wanted to detour though then you wouldn’t do this if you aren’t going to leave the airspace by heading north.

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What @NEO said. It is the direction you will be departing the airspace from. The airspace is the 3 circles surrounding the airport. So if you’re departing straight out, you’re departing at the same heading of the runway until you exit those 3 circles.

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Okay. Thanks for the help.

If you need any further help it would be best to send a screenshot as an example and we can tell you what direction to help you understand or just PM me :)

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You’re welcome to save this for future reference as well!


So this means ill depart south?


Yes it sure does. Any more scenarios I would be happy to assist if it helps you

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Correct! It’s referencing your overall direction of flight/route, ignoring the fact that you’ll fly runway heading for 3-10 miles off departure end (as you should every time you depart).


@Chatta290, it’s not so much your final destination. If you are taking off from 25R at KLAX and travelling to KSAN, but intend to take a scenic route north to the top of the region around, you’re not departing south.

Letting tower know that you will actually be exiting the airspace north, should tell the tower to hold any departures on 24L until you have turned north and crossed that cone.

It’s less your final destination and more your direction of departure from the airspace.


Of course hence why I never mentioned the destination. The EGLL scenario is a likely one which most people will follow so I used that as an example.


Pretty mush do not use remaining in the pattern if you are not going to remain in the pattern (e.g. Touch and Goes) 😊

The more people who know this the better experience we have

I would just like to thank everyone for their patience with this poster.
As simple a question it would appear to most of us, it was important to this OP.