Flight Redemptions

What is LAHSO in Aviation? (Land And Hold Short Operations)

Updated: February 24, 2024

The Basics of Land And Hold Short Operations (LAHSO)

Land And Hold Short Operations, commonly known as LAHSO, is a procedure used in aviation to enhance the efficiency of runway operations. It allows for simultaneous use of intersecting runways, reducing delays and increasing airport capacity. LAHSO involves an aircraft landing on a runway while another aircraft holds short of the same runway, waiting for clearance to take off. This procedure requires precise coordination between air traffic controllers, pilots, and ground personnel.

LAHSO is primarily used in situations where airports have intersecting runways, limited space, or high traffic volume. It helps maximize runway utilization and minimize delays, especially during peak hours. However, it is important to note that LAHSO operations are subject to specific conditions and aircraft performance limitations to ensure safety.

How LAHSO Works

When implementing LAHSO, air traffic controllers carefully manage the sequence of arrivals and departures. They ensure that aircraft on intersecting runways maintain a safe distance and provide specific instructions to pilots regarding when to hold short, when to cross, and when to take off. This coordination helps prevent any conflicts between aircraft and ensures smooth operations.

Before an aircraft can participate in LAHSO, pilots must receive specific training and certification. They need to demonstrate proficiency in the procedure and have a thorough understanding of the associated risks and limitations. Additionally, aircraft must meet certain performance criteria, including minimum approach speeds, maximum landing distances, and minimum stopping distances.

Once an aircraft is cleared to participate in LAHSO, it follows the designated approach path and lands on the runway. Simultaneously, another aircraft approaching from a perpendicular runway holds short and awaits clearance to take off. The holding aircraft maintains a safe distance from the landing aircraft, ensuring there is sufficient separation to facilitate a safe departure.

Benefits and Challenges of LAHSO

LAHSO offers several benefits to airports and airlines, including:

Increased runway capacity: By allowing simultaneous use of intersecting runways, LAHSO helps accommodate more arrivals and departures, reducing congestion and delays.
Improved efficiency: By optimizing runway usage, LAHSO helps maximize efficiency and reduce overall flight times.
Enhanced airport capacity: LAHSO increases the overall capacity of an airport, allowing it to handle more flights and passengers without the need for extensive runway expansions.

However, implementing LAHSO also poses certain challenges and considerations:

Weather conditions: LAHSO operations are highly dependent on weather conditions. Poor visibility, strong crosswinds, or other adverse weather conditions may restrict or suspend LAHSO procedures.
Aircraft performance limitations: Aircraft participating in LAHSO must meet specific performance criteria to ensure safe operations. If an aircraft does not meet these criteria, it may not be eligible to participate.
Increased pilot workload: LAHSO adds complexity to pilot workload, requiring them to closely follow air traffic control instructions, monitor other aircraft, and maintain situational awareness.

Overall, LAHSO is a valuable procedure that enables efficient utilization of intersecting runways and enhances airport capacity. It requires careful coordination and adherence to safety protocols to ensure smooth operations.

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