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I just saw a Delta commercial with a plane taking off from a runway with a 16R designation (thus, the plane in the commercial was departing from 34L). Does anyone know where this airport is? Climbing out, there appears to be a large body of water ahead, if that helps!

enter image description here

I had always heard that Van Nuys (KVNY) was the only airport with a 16R/16L runway designation, but the airport in the video isn't Van Nuys.

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you provide a link to a video of the commercial, that may help shed more light on the situation. $\endgroup$ – Dave Nov 30 '15 at 4:43
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    $\begingroup$ There are many airports with 16L/16R, here's another example. Sydney, Narita, Van Nuys. As reirab points out, there are only 18 possible numbers so this is not surprising. $\endgroup$ – Simon Nov 30 '15 at 7:44
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    $\begingroup$ Based on @reirab's answer, the same perspective from Google Maps. $\endgroup$ – mins Nov 30 '15 at 20:49
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    $\begingroup$ @reirab is 100% correct, it's Paine Field / Snohomish County International. Source: I am based there, and that's a piece of the Everett Boeing plant on the right side. :) You can see Hat/Guemes Island and a piece of Camano Island, as mentioned, and the lights of Everett at the far top right. $\endgroup$ – egid Dec 4 '15 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks so much! I've actually had a VIP tour of that Boeing facility because a friend of mine is an engineer there. I flew up in my C-172, but now can't recall which airport I landed at! If I remember correctly, it was a small GA airport ... $\endgroup$ – Spencer Dec 6 '15 at 1:29
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It's Paine Field (KPAE) in Seattle. It has both 16L and 16R and has water (the Puget Sound) directly ahead if you're taking off from the 34s. 34L is also the only runway there large enough for most jet traffic, so that's what a Delta jet would be using if it were there.

It's also worth noting that this commercial is about flight testing and Paine Field just so happens to be the home of an aircraft production facility for some little company named 'Boeing.' You can see their Everett Production Facility on the North side of the airport in the Google Earth view and the aerial photo below. Interesting fact: that facility, originally built in 1967 to produce the Boeing 747, remains the largest building in the world by volume even to today. It's 79% larger than the next largest building and a full 3.63 times the size of NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building, the previous largest building in the world by volume, where NASA performed final integration of the Saturn V and Space Shuttle stacks and where it will do so for the SLS.

Here's the Google Earth view, and it looks like the two islands on the left in the commercial are Hat Island and Camano Island:

Google Earth view of Paine Field

Sectional chart showing KPAE and Puget Sound
Sectional Chart Showing KPAE

Paine Field - Aerial View
Aerial View of Paine Field - Source: Wikipedia


Honestly, the claim of there only being 1 airport with any given runway number seems rather suspicious, since there are only 18 possibilities. Granted, the requirement of having parallel runways makes it a little less unlikely, but still many (if not most) large airports have parallel runways.

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  • $\begingroup$ And with many areas having prevailing winds out of the North East or South West, a 16/32 runway setup seems likely to be fairly common. $\endgroup$ – Jon Story Nov 30 '15 at 14:50
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    $\begingroup$ @JonStory Did you really mean to say 16/32. I suspect that's a typo. Also on the U.S. west coast a 16/34 runway is a true north-south runway due to the the magnetic variation of appoximately 20E. $\endgroup$ – Terry Nov 30 '15 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ I meant 16/34 as British runways don't use 320 degree circles :p it was indeed a typo. In much of the world 16/34 would be northeast/southwest to some degree $\endgroup$ – Jon Story Nov 30 '15 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ @JonStory With no magnetic declination, heading 340 would be Northwest, not Northeast. With the declination on the U.S. east coast, Paine's 16-34 runways are actually almost exactly North-South (179/359 true heading.) $\endgroup$ – reirab Nov 30 '15 at 21:43
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks everyone for your input and answers! When I said "there was only one airport with 16R/16L designation," I should have clarified that that was in the USA. There is a film about Van Nuys airport called "16 Right," and it tells about the history of KVNY. Perhaps they said it was the only GA airport with twin runways of that designation, and I misheard! Hmmm... Now I'll have to watch it again! $\endgroup$ – Spencer Dec 1 '15 at 6:34
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You can find the full list of runway data for the US here (as provided by the FAA)

They list (confirmed on google maps to see whats actually painted on the tarmac)

  • DEN (Denver)
  • SEA (Seattle-Tacome)

There may be others as well you can check the list for a more complete overview.

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  • $\begingroup$ In addition, Eugene Airport in Oregon also has 16R/16L runways. Outside USA, at least the two airport in Tokyo (Haneda & Narita), Sydney, as well as Roma Fiumicino have the designation. $\endgroup$ – Him Dec 5 '15 at 23:54

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