When is which runway used?

Safety takes priority in the handling of air traffic. This also applies for the use of the take-off and landing runways. Whether a runway can be offered for take-offs or landings depends on the wind, visibility, the condition of the runway and the rigidity. The availability and accuracy of the Instrument Landing System (ILS), which can be used for landing even in poor visibility conditions, and the lighting equipment may also be determining factors for the availability of a runway. Which of the available runways are deployed is determined on the basis of the GPBS. The GPBS determines which runways and runway combinations merit first preference from the point of view of safety and which cause the least noise pollution.

This means that preferably, a combination of runways will be offered that causes nuisance to as few people as possible. This system works as follows: a combination is created from the runways available for use, with preference always going to the runways that cause the least nuisance. By day, the combinations consist of two take-off runways and one landing runway or two landing runways and one take-off runway, depending on whether there is more outbound or more incoming traffic. During night-time hours, one take-off runway and one landing runway are in use. Which of the available runways is ultimately used for outbound flights therefore depends on considerations concerning safety, capacity and noise pollution.