Brisbane Airport Runways

Brisbane Airport has two parallel runways oriented North-South – Runway 01R/19L (existing/legacy), and Runway 01L/19R (new) which opened on 12 July 2020. Both runways are shown in the image below with orange and yellow arrows at either end.

The image below shows the runways, with:

  • The orange arrows pointing to Runway 01L/19R
  • The yellow arrows pointing to Runway 01R/19L.

A cross runway (14/32) was de-commissioned as part of the construction of the new runway.

Each runway is referred to differently according to in which direction it is being used, as explained in the following video.

When Brisbane airport is operating in a northerly direction runways 01R and 01L are in use, and runways 19L and 19R are used when the airport is in a southerly direction.

Runway numbering reflects the runways’ orientation and correlates with degrees on a compass. Runway 19 is at 190 degrees.

Runway selection

Operations are divided into two time periods. The day period is 6am to 10pm and the night period is 10pm to 6am.

During the day period, the runway used is based on the planned route of the aircraft. Aircraft planning a route through the north or the west use the new runway, and through the east or the south, the legacy runway.

At night aircraft will when possible operate over Moreton Bay. Arrivals use one runway and departures the other. As the overnight traffic volume is light, aircraft can more readily operate in the same airspace.

Weather conditions

Runway selection is based on wind direction, weather conditions, traffic volume and other factors. Aircraft primarily take-off and land into the wind for safety and performance reasons. Therefore, as the wind direction changes the runway in operation may also change depending on the strength of the wind.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) sets the rules for the provision of Air Traffic Control services. These rules include criteria applying to air traffic control for nominating the runway direction.

If a runway surface is dry, it should not be nominated for use if the downwind exceeds 5 knots. Downwind is wind that blows towards the tail of the aircraft. If the runway surface is wet, it should not be nominated if there is any downwind. For this reason the runway that is nominated for use will usually have a headwind, or if there is downwind, it will be below the criteria.

Learn more about seasonal changes in your area on our How seasonal variation affects your area page.

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