Parallel runways at Navy fields?

pscraig

Well-Known Member
I've noticed a trend that many Navy/Marine airfields have parallel runways, and often two sets of parallel, perpendicular runways. Is there a specific operational reason for this layout? Cecil (FL) and Oceana (VA) come to mind.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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I've noticed a trend that many Navy/Marine airfields have parallel runways, and often two sets of parallel, perpendicular runways. Is there a specific operational reason for this layout? Cecil (FL) and Oceana (VA) come to mind.

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Unlike AFB, you rarely find single-runway NASs. IMO, this is due to the multiple types of ops NASs do. Many have both fixed and rotary wing traffic, and multiple types of aircraft, whereas most AFBs have a single aircraft type on base, maybe two. Additionally, most NASs have at least one runway with ongoing FCLP, or Field Carrier Landing Practice, where carrier pilots practice, or "work up" prior to going to the boat for qual/requal. This allows one runway to be used for pattern work, while the other can be used for instrument approaches and departures/arrivals. That's why you see many UPT (pilot training) bases having three parallel runways, like Williams, Laughlin, and Vance. The two outer runways are used for pattern work by the individual types of aircraft, with the center runway being used for normal arrivals/departures by transient aircraft, as well as instrument approaches; since the outer runways only have "sidestep" minima to them.
 
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