What's wrong with "Left" and "Right" runway designations?

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What's wrong with "Left" and "Right" runway designations?

Postby 3WE » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:43 am

Ok, I get it, Dallas and Atlanta and Denver and now Chicago have too many parallel runways...so they cheat and number some of them 10 degrees off of what they would traditionally be...

But why in the hell would some place like XNA not simply use "16 Left" and "16 Right"?

I guess I first noticed this at my home airport that when they built a third runway, instead of 12 L, C and Right, went with 12L, 12R and 11.....I thought it had something to do with 11/29 being way off set from the rest of the place. (Of course, we also turned a taxiway into runway 13-31 for a few years too).

Not only that, but I'd think at NW Ark, the chance of a dumbass like me in a no-magenta-line 150 not being able to keep straight which runway is 16 and which runway is 17, would be markedly increased versus the simpler "Left and Right".

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Re: What's wrong with "Left" and "Right" runway designations

Postby flyboy2548m » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:57 pm

I don't believe there is anything in the regs that mandates airports use a L/C/R type designation or just different numbers. Keep in mind, that ATL, for one uses three diffent number sets, ORD and LAX use two, all for runways of the same heading. Why XNA went this way I know not, other than to say that someone who can't tell 17 from 16 apart probably couldn't tell 16L from 16R either.
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Re: What's wrong with "Left" and "Right" runway designations

Postby ocelot » Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:27 am

My guess is that they didn't want to change the existing designations. Because, even though theoretically everyone reads all NOTAMs and never forgets any of the details, in practice there's still a risk of someone accidentally using the old numbering... especially when fatigued or in an unrelated emergency or when the swiss cheese is otherwise thin.

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