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Direction of Flight: Take-offs and Landing

__ch0874Have you ever wondered why airplanes take-off and land the way they do? If so, you are not alone. A popular Thai website,, showcases how others are also curious.

We’ve provided answers below to the most frequently asked questions regarding take-offs and landings at Don Mueang International Airport.


When the airplane takes off from Don Mueang International Airport, why does it turn in the opposite direction of the destination rather than flying straight ahead?

All types of aircraft follow an invisible “roadway” in the air much like cars do on the ground. Before an airplane takes off, or “departs”, from Don Mueang International Airport, a procedure has already been set in place utilizing what are called Standard Instrument Departures. There are a lot of acronyms in aviation, and this is no exception.  These are called “SIDs”.  Each runway operates on a different SID, which is why some southbound flights take off towards Nonthaburi before turning, as there may already be other air traffic above.  


Why doesn’t the airplane start descending before reaching the airport?

There are many variables involved when landing an airplane, including the direction and speed of the wind. Airplanes maintain their high altitude before reaching the airport due to surrounding construction, which is often reaching heights much higher than structures at the airport runway.

Pilots follow a procedure called ‘Standard Terminal Arrival Route’ (STAR).  There’s those acronyms again!  The STAR keeps the airplane well above any close encounter with the Earth or man made structure by specifying a minimum altitude.  With the assistance of air traffic controllers, this procedure guarantees a safe landing at Don Mueang International Airport.

SIDs (take-offs) and STARs (landings) are the best combination for safety and traffic flow, and that’s why every AAJ flight you take, the pilot will use a SID or a STAR.  Feel free to ask them what SID or STAR they will be using during your flight.

Stay tuned to learn even more facts about aviation!

Direction of Flight take off-Landing

Have you ever wondered how a flight take-off and land? Today, we will answer that mystery for you. Here, we have the most 1 frequently asked questions on;

  1. Why does the airplane at Don Muang airport always head in right direction right after it took-off. Why does not it fly ahead? For example, the south bound flight always turn right first (toward Nonthaburi), then it turns left afterward to its destination.
  2. before the plane land, why does some plane fly though the airport or that the airport must be insight first before they descend the altitude. Why don’t they descend before they arrive? Some had seen international flight fly through Don Muang in the south before making a return at Ayuddhaya before landing in Don Muang

Today we will answer the questions that many have had in regard to take-off and landing. Planes actually do have road just like cars do. The difference being that they are invisible. In fact, the preparation for take-off is regulated under a procedure called “Standard instrument departure (SID)” routes. When the planes take-off, the plane shall follow this procedure, and each runway has a different SID. This is why sometime a south bound plane flies off to Nonthaburi first before turning. It is because maybe there is air traffic above.

Why some plane flies through the airport first before descending? The main reason to this is because the runway that the plane will land is in the different landing direction from the plane in bound direction. Therefore, the plane must fly through and readjust it direction relatively to the runway. The runway can also be changed due to the wind direction and other reason.

The reason the plane usually does not descend its altitude from far away is because of the surrounding construction which may have different height. Landing and descending therefore, must also follow the procedure called “standard terminal arrival route or standard terminal arrival (STAR)”. Also, each flight procedure has specific minimum altitude that the plane may not descend beyond that level due to the risk of impact possibility with construction or mountain range. In fact, there is regulation controlling the construction around the area of the airport. Thus, there is no need for plane to descend its altitude in advance, and so that they follow the instruction of air controller officer.

Today, we have learned about direction of flight take-off and landing. Next time what will we learn will be revealed next time. Don’t forget to stay tune.