In aviation, the term crosswind (or side wind) refers to a relatively high wind blowing more or less at right angles across a runway during landing.


Aircraft are generally “direction stable”, meaning that their noses tend to turn to face directly into the wind. Each type of aircraft has its own so-called “crosswind limit”.


When assigning runways for take-off and landing, air traffic controllers take into account any crosswind. At Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, the criterion applied is a maximum strength of twenty knots on the primary runways. It may be stronger on any secondary runways in use, but in that case accepting the opportunity to take off from or land on one of them is the sole responsibility of the pilot concerned.