Why directed to a red runway?

I was flying in London with a flight path geared towards a green runway. The ATC asked me to go left downwind towards a red runway - while others continued inbound on the green. Why would this happen? Assumed when it’s red - it means wind conditions are poor. Help me understand. Thanks all!

Just because the runway is red, doesn’t necessarily mean its out of use. ATC can use the runway if they want, Red runways just mean there is wind or something occurring, and green runways means a suggested runway for takeoff/landing to avoid all winds etc. Hope this helps!


Gotcha. It was easy enough to change the flight path but I was curious about it. Thank you for the help.

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I was controlling Heathrow at the time. First off, there is no such thing as a closed runway ( except for the obvious construction work, etc.). IF is designed to show a runway with even a moderate tailwind as “red.”

At the time of controlling, Heathrow in real life was currently using 9L for arrivals and 9R for departures, which is what I was mirroring. An aircraft can takeoff or land with crosswind components of up to 20-40 knots, depending on the type rating and class size. As for tailwind… 15 knots-ish seems to be my guess.

As for traffic going on the 27s… I’m not sure where you saw that. It may have been approach vectoring them around the 9s, or I was just having them enter downwind to 9L (some inbounds were from London City). I did log off due to an app crash, which could’ve been why people would gun for the 27s.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! Thanks for dropping by!

//Advanced ATC 2


Thanks for the explanation. As I mentioned, it was easy to change my flight plan and I know ATC has a rationale (which is why I follow ATC instructions). I was operating with the idea that the runway was closed.

All makes sense now and I know to keep flexible when approaching in.


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@StikLover2 @Greg another example is at an airport like ksan. Sometimes due to wind the runway infinite flight suggests you use is 09 but with all the traffic already inbound to land at 27. its easier to just keep vectoring them into 27 instead of 09 to prevent a mess in the airspace.

Also in real life runway 27 is almost always used.

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Yeah ive had that happen to me couple of time on playground. I just kept them coming into 27 to prevent an unnecessary headache for me and approach.

Yes that’s a good job on your part


But some people thought since its red you cant land there but overall it was smooth

What I don’t like is when people at lax go for the 07’s and 06’s, because they are always red but they ask for it anyways, and lax doesn’t use them. Ever


well even if the runway is red the winds could be essentially calm, all up to controller decision

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I just don’t like when I have a good system going and some idiot disregards it and spams the chat with unrealistic requests


Actually they do. It was just used the other day. @MichaelSchoelen


It’s not realistic. If you read this post then you would understand why I said that.

@Full_flight I understand where you are coming from, but FYI runway 6/7 at LAX are used almost every single day of the year, just probably not in a way you would expect. But LAX was in full East ops just this week. So I wouldn’t say they don’t use them EVER. I would say they are usually in a west config.


Most of the times the wind come from Sea so Lax and San use 25L/04R San 27 for take-off but at night time when the wind is calm and noise pollution Lax uses east runways.

What did I say about night time and noise, right now Lax using 06 for landing 25 for take-off.

It is called SODROPS - Simultaneous Opposite Direction Runway Operations

It is used in many airports such as Sydney Kingsford, Los Angeles. etc.

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