Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Runway 18R/36L Closed for Light Installation: May 21-June 4

Runway 18R/36L, DFW’s primary arrival runway, will be closed from Sunday May 21 at 12:00 PM to Friday, June 4 at 6:00 AM, weather permitting, to accommodate the FAA’s ongoing installation work.

The DFW Airport has announced the 14 day closure of Runway 18R/36L to continue with the FAA’s ongoing installation of Runway Status Lights.

What to Expect:

The shifts in aircraft operations to other runways during the closure may affect the cities of Southlake, Grapevine, Trophy Club, Westlake, Flower Mound, Lewisville, Coppell, Irving, Euless and Arlington, which could experience some additional aircraft traffic, including:

  • Jet departures on Runway 31L during north winds;
  • Increased arrivals Runway 31R and 35R during north winds;
  • Increased arrivals to Runway 17L and 13R during south winds;
  • Outboard runways will be needed later at night or early in the morning.

May 19 – May 30 [Full Closure of Runway 18R/36L]

The weather forecast is not known for the full 10-day closure period.  In general, because aircraft take off and land into the wind, when winds are southerly aircraft take off to the south and land from north to south.  When winds are northerly, aircraft take off to the north (or northwest in the case of the use of Runway 31L) and land from south to north.  Keep in mind that surface winds don’t always dictate flow as winds above the surface and/or operational needs can affect the direction for which aircraft take off and land.

Runway 18R/36L is the primary arrival runway on DFW’s west side.  During its closure:

  • North Flow: When the winds are out of the north or are light/variable:
  • Arrivals will shift to the departure runway, Runway 36R
  • Departures shift Runway 31L which serves as the primary departure runway on the west side.
  • Arrivals also shift to Runways 35R and 31R on DFW’s east side.
  • South Flow: When the winds are out of the south:
  • Departures will continue on Runway 18L
  • Arrivals will shift to Runways 13R on DFW’s west side and 17L on DFW’s east side
  • The use of the outboard runways (diagonal runways and Runway 17L/35R) may be extended at night to 11pm.

Remaining Weekend Closures for the RWSL installation are June 3-4; June 10-11; June 17-18; and June 24-25 [Closures of Runway 18L/36R]

  • Runway 18L/36R is the primary departure runway on the west side. During its closure:
  • While the winds are out of the north, Runway 36L will be the used for arrivals and Runway 31L will be the primary departure runway on the west side.
  • While the winds are out of the south, departures will shift to Runway 18R and arrivals will shift to Runways 17L and 13R.
  • The use of the outboard runways (diagonal runways and Runway 17L/35R) will likely be extended at night to 11pm.

The graphics below (provided by the DFW Airport) depict the closures and their effects of the runway utilization:

Runway Status Lights:

Runway Status Lights (RWSL) is a fully automatic, advisory safety system designed to reduce the number and severity of runway incursions and prevent runway accidents while not interfering with airport operations.  It is an in-pavement lighting system that works similar to a traffic light which provides a visual signal to pilots and vehicle operators of when it is unsafe to enter/cross or begin takeoff on runway. The system aims to improve air crew and vehicle operator situational awareness through accurate and timely indication of runway usage.  For further information, please see the link to the FAA’s website.

The DFW Airport encourages citizens with inquiries or complaints to contact them.  You may contact them by email at dfwnoise@dfwairport.com, or on the Noise Complaint Hotline, at 972-973-3192 (manned 24/7).  Follow-up response calls or emails will be provided, when requested.

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