Read the NOTAMs

Digging through pages of runway NOTAMs before each flight is arguably as exciting as reading the yellow pages. However, unless you have your personal dispatcher to brief you about pertinent facts and factoids you need to extract potentially relevant information. In Honolulu we always seem to deal with taxiway and occasional runway closures because of construction. As the light rail construction project gets closer to the airport cranes increasingly enter the NOTAMs. Information relating to RWY 08L/26R is often ignored by the general aviation community since the two long 08 runways are generally reserved for the ‘heavies’ and the commercial traffic that uses the gates on the north ramp.

However, if operations on 08L are impacted by maintenance of the instrument landing system or construction the only other available runway with precision approach equipment is 4R. By default, the frequency of take-offs and arrivals on that runway is going to increase. Additional closure of runway 4L because of construction creates the perfect storm for general aviation: prolonged waiting at taxiway Foxtrot for take-off and the possibility of different runway assignment for landing. Don’t even think of asking for practice approaches.

NOTAM HNL 04/067 reports that RWY 08L has a shortened landing distance until June 1st which may be the reason why you may find yourself issued a landing clearance on that runway rather than the expected 4R. The downside is that you will be issued a complex taxi clearance in unfamiliar territory to the south ramp. Ask for progressive instructions before you get lost and have a printed or a digital map of the airport at hand.

In other news: Clearance delivery frequency 121.4 will be unserviceable until the end of June, but you knew that already because you read the NOTAMs, right? Use 128.65 until then. This is also broadcast on ATIS.


Short final to RWY 08L at PHNL
Approach to RWY 08L via Freeway approach from the east and taxi to the south ramp via taxiways G, B, and D
Posted in GACH.

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