PDX SOP_100

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Dan Davison
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PDX SOP_100

Post by Dan Davison » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:11 pm

This is a discussion, more of a query actually of if anyone knows the actual Standard Operating Procedures at PDX regarding runway usage.

Context
---

The METAR at PDX read, 20003. (Wind 180 at 3 knots). According to our current SOP_100(§5.n.2), we would use Runways 10L/10R.

I had a pilot on that was confused when I mentioned "My ATIS shows 10L/10R landing and departing. FYI, you're turning for the 28s.". The pilot responded by saying "I work at PDX, they barely use the 10s".

I got to thinking, It would kindof make sense not to use the 10s by default.

Given the graphic I've made below, wouldn't it make more logistical sense for the real-world airport to use the 28 runways MORE than the 10s because of traffic congestion?

Image

Given the amount of traffic PDX receives, i feel that it might make more sense to use 28s (west ops) as default.

---

All this being said, my actual question is: Does anybody know the real-world SOP in 2019 for Portland International Airport?

Was this pilot lying?

Chris Brettrager
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Location:USA

Re: PDX SOP_100

Post by Chris Brettrager » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:22 pm

East Flow has and always will be the calm wind config, it has to do with noise abatement and better available airspace to MVAs west of PDX. This has been the case for as long as I've followed PDX (many years).

Number 2, your "choke point" isn't really a choke point, 10L at E and full length can be used to eliminate that issue for the most part as so many scenery updates are available these days. Also you have taxiway K right below A... so many options there are 4 seperate routes there. So 10L is a very efficient departure runway and far more so than the 28s.

I'm not sure who this guy is, but one pilot claiming to "work" at PDX doesn't change this fact. Now in real life there are many factors to runway selection beyond SOP as basic as winds, but many of those don't exist for us. Regardless pilots fly their airplane based on ATC instructions not what they think should be the runway, so no I don't see any need to change this.
The Don - I've been here for too long...
"He who stands a top the mountain for everyone to see, does not lead. He who finds a way to move the mountain, he is the one who leads." - Christian Brettrager

Dan Davison
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Re: PDX SOP_100

Post by Dan Davison » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:40 pm

Not requesting change. Having a logical and friendly discussion.

The noise abatement definitely makes a lot of sense, but I myself can't speak about the MVA's. Regarding the Choke Point, that was superfluous and honestly a freudians slip, so we can disregard that. Like anything in life, it's chaotic. Are you saying it is impossible that this is the case today? And you can speak to this with fact, over feeling or gut?

Basically what I'm inquiring is if there is a document, like the SOP we have, that's for PDX from the FAA that anybody has access to today. I'm sure there is an actual Standard Operating Procedure that is defined and official. Just not sure where one would find that.

Chris Brettrager
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Location:USA

Re: PDX SOP_100

Post by Chris Brettrager » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:48 pm

Yes I can, and the reasons I gave above are major reasons. I understand that as a tower rated controller you don't understand all the points Im making regarding airspace but as someone who has FOIAed the SOPs more than once, and controlling this airspace since 2006 I'm not just throwing some random stuff at you. There is no choke point for 10s, use taxiway echo to stage planes, or send them to 10R. As I said in the last post there is more to selecting runways in real life, and therefore you may not see them in east when the winds are calm, but they don't matter on VATSIM. We don't have 40-60 arrivals an hour, and we don't have flow control, leaving it a far easier policy to go by. Your not gonna be able to google that, but this is my best attempt to clarify this.
The Don - I've been here for too long...
"He who stands a top the mountain for everyone to see, does not lead. He who finds a way to move the mountain, he is the one who leads." - Christian Brettrager

Dan Davison
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Joined:Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:00 am

Re: PDX SOP_100

Post by Dan Davison » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:15 pm

Thanks for your input, Chris! Much appreciated.

Peter Armstrong
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Re: PDX SOP_100

Post by Peter Armstrong » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:47 am

Dan

Personally, I allow pilots to depart/land on any runway of their choice if there is no other traffic at all! Flexibility and enjoyment seems to be the thing most pilots like - especially, if they are trying to emulate the real world - they get a kick out of that.

Happy times. No disrespect intended.
Best regards

Peter
Last edited by Peter Armstrong on Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Chris Brettrager
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Re: PDX SOP_100

Post by Chris Brettrager » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:11 am

Peter thanks for your input, however it seems we were more discussing SOP at PDX, then controller best practices. Personally I follow the 7110.65 and use MVAs, MIAs, and real world SOPs to provide real world experience that most pilots get a kick out of as well. But I digress...
The Don - I've been here for too long...
"He who stands a top the mountain for everyone to see, does not lead. He who finds a way to move the mountain, he is the one who leads." - Christian Brettrager

Peter Armstrong
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Re: PDX SOP_100

Post by Peter Armstrong » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:59 am

Dan wrote:-

“…..Basically what I'm inquiring is if there is a document, like the SOP we have, that's for PDX from the FAA that anybody has access to today. I'm sure there is an actual Standard Operating Procedure that is defined and official. Just not sure where one would find that”...……………………………………………………. answer below!


Chris wrote:-

…….”and (I) use ………………. real world SOPs………”
Happy controlling/flying :beer:
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Chris Brettrager
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Re: PDX SOP_100

Post by Chris Brettrager » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:12 pm

Yes, so I answered the question? As for access to them you gladly can FOIA them through appropriate channels. I understand I could say the sky is blue and I'd get a response it is red. I have nothing to add.
The Don - I've been here for too long...
"He who stands a top the mountain for everyone to see, does not lead. He who finds a way to move the mountain, he is the one who leads." - Christian Brettrager

Mike Fries
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Re: PDX SOP_100

Post by Mike Fries » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:31 pm

Here is my take:

I don't have the real world SOP for PDX but it is unlikely to state a "calm wind runway" as controllers don't need that kind of stuff spelled out for them. They know the weather patterns, they have experience. They look at forecasts and determine what runways to use.

Just look at this website and look at the Wind direction distribution chart. You can see over the year, its basically split. Go month by month and you will see that for example August, winds favor the 10's 3% of the time. Where as in December they favor the 10's 67% of the time.

https://www.windfinder.com/windstatistics/portland_or

If you look at SEA, you can see why having a calm wind runway there makes sense.
https://www.windfinder.com/windstatisti ... ma_airport

I also checked the Flightradar24 data from January 25. When the wind was out of the NW at 6kts and they were still running the 10s because that is what they do that time of year. A few hours later the winds were back out of the East.


Here is the current TAF for example:

KPDX 190301Z 1903/1924 32011G20KT P6SM SCT050
FM190400 32011KT P6SM SCT040
FM191200 VRB05KT P6SM BKN026
FM191500 VRB04KT P6SM BKN035

So, PDX is on the 28's, now at 1200z when the wind is projected to go below 6kts, does it make sense to switch to the 10's because it is the "calm wind runway"? No, because it is Summer and I know that the winds generally favor the 28's. why turn the airport around when the next METAR to come out could go back to 6kts out of the West?

It is my opinion that our VATSIM PDX should not have a specific "calm wind runway" and a more common sense policy that VATUSA actually has in their training material of "When the winds are less then 5 knots, then you may select any runway(s)."

As for your pilot who works at PDX... good for him, you're the controller and following the SOP. We have had people disconnect because they didn't want to use the 10's when it was 280 @ 3. Petty stuff. People like that annoy me. Anyway, saying they barely use the 10's is not correct. Saying the barely use the 10's this time of year would have been a more appropriate comment.




Dan Davison wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:11 pm
This is a discussion, more of a query actually of if anyone knows the actual Standard Operating Procedures at PDX regarding runway usage.

Context
---

The METAR at PDX read, 20003. (Wind 180 at 3 knots). According to our current SOP_100(§5.n.2), we would use Runways 10L/10R.

I had a pilot on that was confused when I mentioned "My ATIS shows 10L/10R landing and departing. FYI, you're turning for the 28s.". The pilot responded by saying "I work at PDX, they barely use the 10s".

I got to thinking, It would kindof make sense not to use the 10s by default.

Given the graphic I've made below, wouldn't it make more logistical sense for the real-world airport to use the 28 runways MORE than the 10s because of traffic congestion?


Given the amount of traffic PDX receives, i feel that it might make more sense to use 28s (west ops) as default.

---

All this being said, my actual question is: Does anybody know the real-world SOP in 2019 for Portland International Airport?

Was this pilot lying?

Dan Davison
Posts:4
Joined:Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:00 am

Re: PDX SOP_100

Post by Dan Davison » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:09 am

No, because it is Summer and I know that the winds generally favor the 28's.
Saying they barely use the 10's this time of year would have been a more appropriate comment.
This makes a lot of sense. I have been noticing it's been getting consistently >=5kt winds at ~280. Good stuff @Mike, thanks for that.

Peter Armstrong
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ZSE Controller
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Re: PDX SOP_100

Post by Peter Armstrong » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:42 am

Your right Mike- maybe it would be a good idea for the 5kt rule. Bad example is at KLMT:- >14 kts

Thanks

Peter
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