North South East West – why wind matters

Published on 6th July 2016 at 16:40

Mother nature (wind in particular) is a big factor pilots need to take into account.

Generally, pilots will try to take off and land into the wind because it’s better aerodynamically. When winds are fairly light, this matters less and aircraft can take different approaches and use various runways.

But when winds are strong, it limits the runways aircraft can safely use. And, a bit like closing a few lanes on the freeway at peak hour, that can cause some delays.

So for instance,  strong westerly winds in Sydney  usually means  that the only runway available is the main east-west one. So, all airlines are lining up to land and take off on this runway.

Unfortunately delays in Sydney or at other large airports with lots of flights can then cause knock on effects to other parts of the network.

In the event of a delay – just know our airport teams and operations centre staff will always do their best to get you on your way.

Watch Qantas Chief Technical Pilot Alex Passerini explain what impact wind has on our flights.