First of 4 new landing systems installed at Heathrow
UPDATE (7 Sept): Installation of the second new Instrument Landing System (ILS) began on Sunday 6 September. This is being installed at the Western end of the Southern Runway.
20 Aug,2015: The first of four new Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) has gone live at Heathrow, making it easier for us to land aircraft in adverse weather. Heathrow has four ILS in place, one for each runway in each direction of operation.
The Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) at the end of each runway (the orange aerials pictured in this photo) a replaced roughly every 15 years.
The ILS for runway 27 Right (27R) was replaced last week in an operation lasting just over five days and coordinated by Airside, NATS engineering teams, Air Traffic Control, and contractors Morgan Sindall.
The new ILS is based on new navigation technology and known as an “enhanced ILS” or eILS for short. The eILS provides Heathrow the capability to increase the number of aircraft that can land in low visibility giving improved resilience and punctuality.
Airports with CAT III runways can land aircraft in any weather and with zero visibility. At the moment our new eILS on runway 27R is at CAT I status, which means we can land aircraft when visibility and cloud cover is above 200ft but not below. Moving to CAT III takes a period of approximately 3 weeks of operation.
Mark Burgess, Head of Air Traffic Management & Flight Performance, said: “The three remaining ILS will be replaced over the coming 12 months. Replacing them is not an easy task however; as you cannot maintain the required scheduled landing rate at Heathrow whilst the ILS is being replaced.”
“Therefore the decision on when to do the work depends on many factors including the weather, the availability of the highly specialised contractors to carry out the work, and on minimising the impact on local communities.”
Five things about the ILS:
- The new ILS is the only one of its kind in the UK;
- There is only one other such system in Europe too, at Zurich Airport;
- The system is designed and manufactured by Indra;
- The new ILS is visibly wider than that it replaces;
- Some 32 aerials have been installed as part of replacing the ILS on 27R.
In order to test the new ILS system, a flight check needs to be carried out. This is a CAA requirement following the introduction of a new system.
The checks are carried out by a small/light aircraft that does a number of loops testing the new system. This has to be carried out during the night when there are no other aircraft landing or taking off at Heathrow.
Geek spot – why does Heathrow actually have four runways?
To the naked eye Heathrow has two runways – the northern runway and the southern runway. Technically speaking though, we have four, known as 27 left and 27 right, and 09 left and 09 right.
The runways are named according to global aviation convention and depending on the direction of travel for departing and arriving aircraft. Aircraft need to land and take off into a prevailing wind (this is where the direction of travel point comes in). Our two runways run directly east to west.
The eastern edges of the runways point towards the 90 degree mark of a compass, the western edges directly to the 270 degree mark (with north at zero degrees, and south at 180 degrees).
Heathrow’s “4” runways. Each runway is called a different name depending on what direction the airport is operating on. This direction is determined by the wind, with it being safer for aircraft to land and take-off into the wind.
If you are the pilot of an aircraft and you’re coming into land at Heathrow from the west (imagine you’re on final approach coming over Windsor) then you’re aircraft is pointing towards the east, 90 degrees on the compass in your cockpit. The two runways facing you at Heathrow are now 09 right or 09 left. That’s because, in the naming convention, the final zero is knocked off the compass heading you are facing, so 90 degrees becomes 09.
As a simple rule:
Northern runway – heading to the west is 27R, heading to the east is 09L.
Southern runway – heading to the west is 27L, heading to the east is 09R.
The left or right aspect is simply the runway to the pilot’s left or right. So, an aircraft coming into land on our northern runway, from the west and facing into the east, would be told to land on 09L – the runway faces 90 degrees on the compass, and is on the pilot’s left hand side.
An aircraft taking off to the east, but on the southern runway, would be operating of 09R – facing 90 degrees on the compass, on the pilot’s right hand side.
When aircraft are landing or taking off to the west (which happens approximately 70 per cent of the time here at Heathrow due to the prevailing westerly winds) then the heading becomes 27 left or right.
The pilots are facing 270 degrees on the compass and left or right depending on the direction of travel.
For more information please see our Q & A here.
The group may have had to wait around for it, but they finally got the chance to capture this Kuwait Airways Boeing 747 (9K-ADE) as it came in to land. Source: Graeme Wright
How a 14 lane M25 would look with Heathrow expansion.
While you’re here why not check out Heathrow’s latest images of an expanded airport and third runway.
London Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR, ICAO: EGLL), situated 12 miles west of Central London, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom, the busiest airport in Europe and the fifth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic. This hub of activity is reflected on the network by the huge number of movements each year. In 2014, the virtual Heathrow had over 41,000 movements, the largest number on the network. Again Heathrow has come out on top in terms of movements in 2015 with over 48,000 flights in and out of the busiest* (in terms of movements) airport on the VATSIM network. * Correct as of December 2015
|Position Identifier||Callsign||Frequency (MHz)|
|ILS RWY09L||I-AA||110.300MHz||No remarks|
|ILS RWY09R||I-BB||109.500MHz||No remarks|
|ILS RWY27L||I-LL||109.500MHz||No remarks|
|ILS RWY27R||I-RR||110.300MHz||No remarks|
|Identifier||Initial Altitude||Remarks||BPK7F||6000||Routing to CLN - Q295 CLN||CPT3F||6000||No remarks||DET2F||6000||Routing to DVR - L6 DVR||GOGSI1F||6000||Routing to SAM - N621 SAM||MAY3F||6000||Not for flightplanning - USE MID INSTEAD.||MID4F||6000||No remarks||WOBUN3F||6000||Routing to TNT - DCT WELIN T420 TNT||BPK7G||6000||Routing to CLN - Q295 CLN||CPT3G||6000||No remarks||DET2G||6000||Routing to DVR - L6 DVR||GOGSI1G||6000||Routing to SAM - N621 SAM||MAY2G||6000||Not for flightplanning - USE MID INSTEAD.||MID3G||6000||No remarks||WOBUN3G||6000||Routing to TNT - DCT WELIN T420 TNT||BPK6J||6000||Routing to CLN - Q295 CLN||CPT||6000||A 'standard heading' clearance will be issued for 09R.||DET1J||6000||Routing to DVR - L6 DVR||GASGU1J||6000||Routing to SAM - N866 SAM||MAY2J||6000||Not for flightplanning - USE MID INSTEAD.||MID3J||6000||No remarks|
|Identifier||Initial Waypoint||Remarks||BIG1E||LOGAN||Not for flightplanning - USE LAM3A INSTEAD.||BIG1F||SANDY||Low level arrivals, FL90 and below ONLY.||BIG1G||OCK||Not for flightplanning - ATC issued only (stack swap).||BIG3B||ALESO||FL150 by TIGER||BIG3C||DVR||No remarks||BIG3D||LAM||Not for flightplanning - ATC issued only (stack swap).||BNN1B||NUGRA||FL150 by SOPIT||BNN1C||DTY||Low level arrivals, FL70 and below ONLY.||BNN1D||KENET||Not for flightplanning - USE OCK1A INSTEAD.||BNN1E||LAM||Not for flightplanning - ATC issued only (stack swap).||BNN4A||HON||FL150 by SOPIT||LAM3A||LOGAN||FL250 by LOGAN (if RFL >=FL300). FL240 by LOGAN (if RFL <=FL290). FL150 by SABER.||OCK1A||KENET||FL140 by 40NM before OCK VOR||OCK1D||HON||Not for flightplanning - USE BNN4A INSTEAD.||OCK1G||BIG||Not for flightplanning - ATC issued only (stack swap).||OCK1H||LAM||Not for flightplanning - ATC issued only (stack swap).||OCK2C||SAM||Low level arrivals, FL100 and below ONLY.||OCK2F||BEDEK||FL140 by BEDEK||OCK3E||BILNI||FL270 by 15NM before BILNI. FL180 by KUMIL. FL130 by HAZEL.||OCK4B||DOMUT||FL180 by KATHY. FL130 by HAZEL.||OTMET1H||OTMET||FL270 by OTMET, FL210 by NEDUL, FL130 by HAZEL, FL70 by OCK||ROXOG1H||ROXOG||FL130 by HAZEL, FL70 by OCK|
|27R||271°||3901m x 50m||Asphalt|
|27L||271°||3660m x 50m||Asphalt|
|09L||091°||3901m x 50m||Asphalt|
|09R||091°||3660m x 50m||Asphalt|
General Airport Information
|ICAO / IATA||EGLL / LHR|
|File Name||Category||Last Updated||Author||More info / Download|
|Heathrow AFCAD FS9||Scenery||5th Oct 2011 at 11:54||Heathrow RTS||More info / Download|
|Heathrow AFCAD FSX||Scenery||5th Oct 2011 at 11:56||Heathrow RTS||More info / Download|
|Heathrow EGLL Pilot Operations Guide||Local Pilot Documentation||3rd Feb 2016 at 23:15||Heathrow RTS||More info / Download|
|Heathrow EGLL Crib Sheet||Quick Reference Sheets||15th Sep 2016 at 16:33||Heathrow RTS||More info / Download|
|UK Controller Pack||EuroScope Controller Tools||9th Dec 2017 at 15:49||Operations Department||More info / Download|
|Heathrow EGLL Stand Allocation Guide||Quick Reference Sheets||25th Jul 2017 at 21:59||Heathrow RTS||More info / Download|
|TC Heathrow EGLL vMATS Part 2||Local ATC Documentation||15th Sep 2016 at 16:38||Heathrow RTS||More info / Download|
|Heathrow ADC Syllabus||Local ATC Documentation||25th May 2016 at 16:23||Heathrow RTS||More info / Download|
|Heathrow Runway Alternation 2018||Quick Reference Sheets||N/A||LHR Airports Ltd||More info / Download|
|Heathrow EGLL ADC vMATS Part 2||Local ATC Documentation||15th Sep 2016 at 17:09||Heathrow RTS||More info / Download|
|Heathrow EGLL 'Applying RSIVA' Guide||ATC Training Material||15th Sep 2016 at 17:29||Heathrow RTS||More info / Download|
|Latest Weather Information|
|EGLL 110850Z AUTO VRB03KT 6000 BKN048 08/08 Q0992 NOSIG|
|Member Name||Position Callsign||Frequency||Online Since (Time online)|
|1325770||EGLL_2_GND||121.700||11th Mar 08:41|
|Callsign||Pilot Name||Airfields||Altitude||Speed||Status||Last Update||Online Since|
|No pilots are currently online for this airfield.|