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Why are there so many airplanes landing at Wilmington International Airport that fly low and directly over downtown Wilmington?

Ken Little
StarNews

It all boils down to which runway pilots use to take off and land on, says Wilmington International Airport Director of Operations Gary W. Broughton.

“Takeoff and landing traffic is based on the prevailing wind, as (airplanes) must take off and land into the wind,” Broughton says.

Pilots have the option of requesting a runway based on prevailing conditions, he adds.

“If a pilot requests a particular runway and conditions are favorable, the controller will approve his request,” Broughton says.

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One Response to “ Why are there so many airplanes landing at Wilmington International Airport that fly low and directly over downtown Wilmington?”

  1. On December 18, 2009 at 7:05 pm Wade Griffis wrote:

    This answer is correct, but woefully incomplete. Runways are numbered by compass heading. Thus, runway 6 is on a heading of about 60 degrees. When we get a low pressure weather system moving up our coast , that produces a Northeast wind which means that planes will be landing on runway 6.

    This is the runway they are using when they fly low across downtown.

    Unavoidable! It would cost about a billion dollars to build a new airport out in the boonies. Not going to happen.