One runway at Melbourne: why?

7 replies



Member since 22 Jan 2013

Total posts 89

Why do they use one runway at Melbourne so much theses days. They say weather, but aircraft are capable of using both the number o& time I have traveled thought. Somthing going on...


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Dec 2017

Total posts 125

Short answer noise abatement, long answer... noise abatement!

Andrew Barkery

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Mar 2011

Total posts 433

They always seem to use North South for my flights, both VA and QF.
Ie, from the North coming in over the Horse studs, from over Bulla, over the cemetery, and then down with the 2 runways on right hand side.
OR, they come in the South, over Geelong/Avalon, with the Melbourne CBD on the right hand side.
Take off also the same, 99% over the North.
I am an L class "backseat pilot" though, so not too up to scratch.
Think N is runway 03/S is runway 21.
South is where the AN (Ansett) workshops used to be.


Member since 15 Sep 2012

Total posts 98

Used to work for ATC. Main factor is wind, not only at Tullamarine but wind at Esssendon as well as runways at both need to be paired for safe operations. Basically operates as one airport with 4 runways! North -Soth runway is much longer than east-west so is used by Internationals and bigger aircraft particularly when departing. Rare to have departures of east -west rwy to the east but does happen a couple of times per year! Have seen ocassion where Strong northerly wind at Tullamarine but Essendon had strong southerly change. Made operations at both airports very difficult

Max Buller YT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 27 May 2018

Total posts 5

It all depends on wind. If it’s a strong northerly or southerly, which it is a lot of time, the main North-South runway will be used. A lot of the time though, 16/34 is used for landings and heavy takeoffs and 27 is used for takeoffs and some landings. Also, again depending on the wind, it can be 27 takeoffs and landings and 16 takeoffs. The ATC also try’s to use what is the safest and most effi


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

In all my years of flying from Tulla I have never had an east departure, nor have I ever seen one when passing by on a drive.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 08 May 2014

Total posts 48

Melbourne Airport Runway Development Program.

My understanding is that the east-west runway has been periodically closed for the last 6+ months for preliminary/early works for its widening.

I regularly fly CBR-MEL & I reckon about 60-70% of the time the east-west is closed & everyone is routed onto the north-south, causing delays.
On the few occasions the east-west has been open, delays are fewer.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 Apr 2019

Total posts 3

Melbourne are experiencing more and more days of northerly winds - meaning Runway 34 is the operating runway due to above 25kt crosswinds for Runway 27. Yes, aircraft are capable of landing/departing in greater winds than this however it is a "general" requirement that above 25kts, crosswind landings will not be mandated (usually due to o/seas carriers).

There are no preliminary works occurring for the RDP program on Runway 27 - this program is currently in limbo due to various reasons.

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