Replacement Terminal Environmental Assessment
18. Have flight paths and angles of approach or departure changed at TTN?
Changes to the flight paths for aircraft on approach to or departure from TTN’s two runways: Runway 6-24 and Runway 16-34, have not changed and have been in effect for several years.
Departing aircraft currently leave at angles appropriate for their type of aircraft and flight. Jet aircraft leave at a steep, but comfortable, angle to reach cruising altitude sooner to take advantage of upper level winds or to gain access to a preferred flight lane to their destination. Angles of departure are usually not able to change. Directions of approach and the angles or slope of approach to the runway is dependent upon the aircraft, flight course assigned by Air Traffic Control, other aircraft in the vicinity, wind speed and direction, and weather or daylight. For each runway, there is an approach plate or procedure to reach the end of the runway. These are governed by the FAA and take into account the terrain, predominant wind direction, weather conditions, navigational aids, and other variables. Aircraft on approach to any airport usually follow set alignments over markers as waypoints along their approach to ensure they are not in the way of other aircraft. The approach angle to the runway is determined by the weather and how the aircraft is operating – whether it is operating in a clear all weather condition or in a condition with reduced visibility due to weather or night time operations and variable winds or windy conditions.