Aircraft always land and take off against the wind. The direction of takeoff and landing therefore depends on the current wind direction.
The forecast shows the expected direction of departure for aircraft at the airport London Heathrow Airport for the next five days.
Important: If the wind speed is less than 5 knots, the airport may specify exceptions to the direction of departure for noise abatement purposes.
The higher the blue indicator points in the direction of 100 (take-off direction east) or -100 (take-off direction west), the higher the probability that aircraft will take off in the corresponding direction (landing direction or approach direction reversed accordingly). Please also compare the pink graph, if it shows below 5 knots, exceptions at the airport are possible.
The forecast for the takeoff and landing direction can also be used very well for planespotting.
The stronger the headwind, the shorter the acceleration or deceleration distance on the runway. Tailwinds, on the other hand, lengthen these distances and become a safety hazard above a certain strength.
If the meteorological conditions change, a correction of the operating direction becomes necessary. A change of operating direction at well-frequented commercial airports takes an average of 5 minutes in this process.
For noise abatement purposes, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommends exceptions to the requirement to take off and land into the wind up to a maximum of 5 knots (9.3 Km/h) tailwind. If the tailwind exceeds 5 knots, no operating direction more favorable for noise abatement may be used, i.e., it is mandatory to fly against the wind.