The Southlake Economic Development & Tourism Department hosted officials from DFW Airport this week to discuss with area realtors how flight operations are controlled into and out of the nation’s third-busiest airport. Sandy Lancaster, DFW Assistant VP of Environmental Affairs focused primarily on runway 13R/31L, which extends northwest toward Southlake.
This runway handles only 3% of DFW’s jet landings when the wind flows from the south. The same runway handles only 4% of DFW’s jet departures when the wind flows from the north. Lancaster said usage is based primarily on weather, heavier flight schedules and repairs of other runways. The low usage of 13R/31L is also partly due to an FAA Converging Runway Operation (CRO) policy that has been in effect since April 2014. That policy limits landings on the diagonal runway to prevent interference with departures on a north-south runway near the terminal. She said the CRO policy could be revisited for possible removal in the future, which could increase air traffic on that runway to pre-2014 levels.
Lancaster also said DFW is going through the “NextGen” air traffic management transformation process that will assist in making flight path arrivals and departures much more precise. NetxGen uses satellite navigation controls, other technologies and procedures to increase efficiencies, create narrow navigation windows and reduce traffic over populated areas.
City Manager, Shana Yelverton also attended the meeting and commented on the very positive working relationship the City has with the airport and Lancaster’s office. Lancaster’s staff notifies Southlake immediately when the diagonal runway is going to be used so the City may immediately post the information on social media. Senior Director of Planning & Development Services, Ken Baker also explained to the realtors how the City’s land use plan minimizes impact on Southlake home owners. Also, joining Lancaster at the meeting were Robert Horton, Vice President of Environmental Affairs and Project Manager Sam Tan.