Using North and South Runways
From Autumn 2002 (when Concorde returned to service after the Paris Crash) to September 2003 Concorde used the North runway to take off and land……It didn’t matter if other planes where using the north runway solely to land or take off on……When Concorde wanted to use it Heathrow Airport management made sure all was safe and allowed concorde to use it…..5 mins after that the other planes where allowed to use the runway to continue land or take off from.
On one day the north runway was being used for landing planes….. At around 6.30pm we saw Concorde taxing to 27R (East side) of the north runway…..5 mins after this all landings where stopped and either diverted to the south runway or the planes where put in a holding pattern.
Concorde taxied on the zebra cross at the end of the runway and took off, when all was safe Heathrow Airport moved the landings back to the north runway.
The same thing happened when Concorde wanted to land, at the time north runway was being used for take offs, at around 5.30-ish pm we saw Concorde’s delta shape in the distance coming toward 09L (West side) of the north runway……When the last plane took off all other take offs from that runway where put on hold until Concorde landed and taxied out of the way…..After this the take offs where resumed.
I never saw any other plane being given this “special treatment” but Concorde got this treatment as she couldn’t use the South runway (one next to Terminal 4) as in 2002 a 747 landed to heavily and made a dent in the runway which wasn’t safe for Concorde….. so BA and Heathrow airport allowed Concorde to use the North runway until they had fixed the dent on the south runway.
Before the Paris crash Concorde use to love using the south runway (one infront of Terminal 4) for both take offs and landings (from what i saw from Terminal 2 plane spotting area) she got the same special treatment as above.
I think the south runway was prefered as it was a shorter distance from Terminal 4 than the north runway.
On 1 September 2003 (depending on Heathrow Air Traffic) Concorde started using North and South runways for takes off and landings.
As Concorde chasers going to the 09R (end of the western side of of the South runway) was a lot harder and took a lot longer to go there by foot, than to go to the 09L (end of the western side of of the North runway)
Ok I know this sounds "boring" but the above was a qwerky habit of Concorde.
Heathrow’s North and South runways