JFK is a MAJOR airport luckily built on the Ocean with 8 total Runways. JFK is abusing and dangerously using the 22s , that’s a no brainer with pilot complains and data to prove. The JFK control tower is directly responsible for choosing what Runways are to be used for traffic. Each Set of Runways at JFK contain 2 parallels. They have major Runways all which face the prevailing wind directions- They are:
Runways 4L and 4R / Runways 22L and 22R
Runways 13L and 13R / Runways 31L and 31R
The 4s and 22s are the same just bi-directional and the same goes for the 13s/31s. The 13s and 31s are JFK’s most longest, widest and state of the art Runways and have always been the primary arrival Runways.
As for wind directions for usage , protocols state:
4s are to be used when winds prevail N/NE/ENE/NNW/NW and also used in storms with low cloud cover. These Runways puts arriving planes 98% over the ocean over minimal residential areas, the departures effect more residential areas as they fly north of the airport.
22s are to be used when winds prevail S/SW/SSW. These are JFK’s shortest and narrowest. The arrivals are flying at dangerously low altitudes over areas no where near JFK in violation of mandated flight standards. The departures effect Arverne and the Rockaways. These are the abused Runways used with all winds and speeds as you heard the pilot questioning why these Runways were in usage. They cant accommodate the larger aircraft as the other sets of Runways can due to their short size. These are JFK’s “last choice resort” Runway selections because of their large residential flight paths all over Nassau and into mid-Suffolk, and also because of their size. As you can see the FAA is ignoring protocols and putting these small Runways as the primary landing/departing configurations against safety and operating procedures. These Runways also historically have the most air crashes at JFK (ex. Eastern Airlines Flight 66). The TRACON tower agreement also states that the 22s are NOT to be in usage from 11PM to 7AM for obvious reasons – this is violated almost on a nightly basis.
13s are to be used when winds prevail E/ESE/SE/SSE. These Runways put arrivals over the belt parkway via the “Canarsie Parkway” landing and just over Howard Beach on final. The departures effect the Rockaways, Atlantic Beach, Inwood, 5 towns, and Lawrence/Cedarhurst. The noise area is limited on how the pilots “bank” off of 13R.
31s are to be used when winds prevail W/NW/WNW/NNW/WSW. The arrivals are mostly over the Long Beach, and 5 towns areas. The departures hug the belt parkway via the “Canarsie Climb” and are 97% over water. These are JFK’s main arrival and departure Runways along with the 13s.
We have seen severe decline in arrival paths for the 13s, 31s and 4s while shifting all arrivals to the 22s when prevailing winds are favoring the other runways to be in usage. This certainly is putting arrival/departure volume/efficiency first and safety last. JFK and the FAA are following schedules, not protocols…..