# What does the ATC instruction “Make left traffic, runway 19L” mean?

I'm playing Prepar3D and when coming in for a landing I'm usually told something like Make left traffic, runway 19L. I'm not sure how to interpret this because I'm not a pilot.
Should I go to the left of 19L for my downwind leg so the runway is to my right, or should I go to the right, with the runway on my left?
Also with parallel runways should I go to the left of 19L exactly or is it the left of 1R? I'm very confused!

'Left' or 'right' traffic means that when you are flying the traffic pattern, all turns are to that direction.

The wikipedia article on traffic patterns isn't bad, and has some decent graphics, including this one from the FAA's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge:

The top pattern is left traffic, while the bottom pattern is right traffic.

• Note that being on a left parallel runway (like 19L) does not mean you're always going to get a left pattern. I have on a few occasions been told to make left traffic from a right runway because of nearby traffic. This is why it's important to a) listen carefully to tower, b) read back all instructions, and c) check the other runway for traffic. Never had instructions corrected (I've had them repeated back to me to confirm after I read them back) and never had to stop for someone else, but it feels weird to do it, and I was never quite happy until I was either back on the ground or flying out. – NetworkLlama Feb 21 '19 at 3:47