Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  

Arrival Procedures EGLL

Recommended Posts

Hey gents,

I am actually working on my master thesis in aviation technics, especially we want to develope an algorithm that finds the optimal arrival route to a runway automaticly. Therefore I want to verify and test this approach to a real airport focusing on London-Heathrow EGLL. I need to know how the controllers are working at this airport, so how they separat each aircraft to another, how the holding points are built and so on. Hopefully one have some experience or knowledge about that (Reallife or maybe Vatsim/IVAO). It would be so much appreciated.


Thank you very much for your help 🙂



Developer          www.facebook.com/FSDesignteam/


Share this post

Link to post

Since that could theoretically actually be useful for real, i would suggest you contact NATS and see if they can put you in touch with a liaison at EGLL's tower:


Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

Share this post

Link to post

I'd suggest a gold subscription to Flightradar24, $4/month, and watch the aircraft in real or historic time flying inbound to Heathrow. It's generally too busy to get a clear picture when all the aircraft are displayed, but you can put filters in so only B.A. aircraft show up, or follow just a single flight for clarity. You'll notice that the tracks flown by aircraft are often very similar.

There are 4 holding stacks BNN Bovingdon to the northwest, LAM Lambourne to the northeast, OCK to the southwest, and BIG Biggin Hill to the Southeast. The aircraft make their way to these holding fixes, most appropriate to the direction they approach Heathrow.

Also have a look at the arrival routes shown on the "STARS" Standard arrival routes, published by the CAA here:


An example of what you can do with flightradar24 (works on PC, Mac, Ipad/phone Android phone/tablet) . I randomly picked on BAW6 (BA flight 6 from Tokyo), played back yesterdays flight, zoomed in on the last bit, it shows it coming in from the east, holding over LAM, it did one full hold, then one cut short hold, was vectored to the west for a while, then vectored over London, finally towards a westerly landing at Heathrow. You'll find many LAM arrivals doing a very similar route, which is shortened or lengthened to fit in with the prevailing traffic.

I've got a gold subscription, and could view the last 3 months arrivals of BAW6, or any other aircraft if I wished, I thinks it's worth every penny!


BAW6 Yesterday:







  • Upvote 1

Share this post

Link to post

You could also contact VATSIM UK, they have all that information.



Share this post

Link to post

As others have mentioned: broadly the standard vectoring pattern (assuming westerly operations) is:

Hdg 265 off LAM at MSL +1 (about FL80 typically).

Hdg 120 off BNN

Hdg 080 off OCK 

Hdg 260 ish off BIG (essentially: aim at OCK!)

The streams are then merged roughly abeam Heathrow, descending toward about 5000ft (so the LAM arrivals for instance will be turned to about hdg 120 to merge with the BNN stream whilst the BIG arrivals will be turned to merge with the OCK stream) by the Intermediate Director.

This produces a northerly stream heading roughly downwind descending toward 4000ft and likewise a parallel southerly downwind stream.

The aircraft (both north and south) are then handed off to Final Director who manages the final sequencing on to the ILS, typically turning one on from the north, then one on from the south and so on, descending towards about 3000ft and then further with the ILS.

The point at which the aircraft establish on final varies - usually anywhere from about 10-18NM out (the busier it is the further out final tends to wander).

Standard speeds are 220kt off the hold, 180 kt on base and 160 to 4DME on final though these can be and are varied.

When it's quieter there are many shortcuts on offer and aircraft may be given straight in from LAM or even around WCO on easterlies.

As mentioned above, there are some vectoring diagrams on the VATSIM UK website. 

Simon Kelsey



Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
  • Tom Allensworth,
    Founder of AVSIM Online

  • Flight Simulation's Premier Resource!

    AVSIM is a free service to the flight simulation community. AVSIM is staffed completely by volunteers and all funds donated to AVSIM go directly back to supporting the community. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. Thank you for your support!

    Click here for more information and to see all donations year to date.
  • Donation Goals

    AVSIM's 2020 Fundraising Goal

    Donate to our annual general fundraising goal. This donation keeps our doors open and providing you service 24 x 7 x 365. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. We reset this goal every new year for the following year's goal.

    $4,640.00 of $25,000.00 Donate Now
  • Create New...