How does ATC discern runway numbers and positions?

CivAV rookie Guest

I realize you will be rolling your eyes over this one but, I've tried to figure this out and searched for the info and can't find it. I am assuming I'm missing something very basic so, I do apologize for having to post this question here.

When I am in the tower as the ATC, how can I tell which runways are which? I see no option for tags on the RADAR.

What does the ATC need to do/activate/print in order to know/see the runway numbers and left and rights?

Again...sorry for the noob question and thanks in advance.


Answers 7 Answers

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Running Guest

Search the internet for maps of the real airport.

Not all are modelled 100% acurate, some taxi ways for example might be missing. But it realy baffles pilots if you give them directions for taxi to the active runway or gate like the ingame ATC does. 😎

benjii Guest

I don't think that would be nessecary. You can actually figure out, which runway it is.

For exampel: runway 25 is heading 250... runway 12 is heading 120..

-Hope it was helpful 🙂

Running Guest

and sometimes the runway heading is 253 and called 26.

With the compas on it's also quite hard to precisely find out that the heading is 253.

I find that getting the actual map enhances the experience.
If thats to much trouble, you could look up the airport on your map in FSX. Then write down all run way names, headings and ILS frequencies.

I fact I do both because sometimes frequencies and runway designations in FSX are different that RL. (RL gets more updates)

Pro Member First Officer
Murfi First Officer

Hong Kong International has a runway heading 253 and it's called RW 25.

Pro Member Captain
Doyley Captain

benjii wrote:

I don't think that would be nessecary. You can actually figure out, which runway it is.

For exampel: runway 25 is heading 250... runway 12 is heading 120..

-Hope it was helpful 🙂

Ive never realised that before... EGGP, My local airport, has runways 9 and 27. There headings are 090 and 270.

Running Guest

Just be a ware that they don't always round the way you expect:

EHAM (Schiphol) has 3 runways with a true heading of 185 called 18L, 18C and 18R.

KMIA (Miami Intl) had 2 runways both with heading 091.6 called 9L and 9R. They then added an extra runway next to 9L with also a heading of 91.6. Now the new runway is called 8L, 9L is now 8R and 9R is now called 9. (there is also another runway there 12-30 but that one didn't change name)

ps and I'm to lame to also give you true heading and name when approaching from the otherside, but you get the idea.


once i heard some guy tell the atc a web site to see all of the maps.but what i do is go into the atc and what ever airport i am at i folow these Idea steps:1 find the airport on google earth.
2 either memorize all of the runways or draw a diagram.
if you do this the r or l on the runway means right or left.
so have fun in the atc

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