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Is a holding pattern always counter-clockwise? Or is it dependent upon the controlling airspace?

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  • $\begingroup$ Right turns are standard for ICAO. In PANS-OPS (Doc 8168), Procedures for Air Navigation Services, section 4, chapter 1: "If no operational considerations prevail, right turns holding patterns should be established. For left turns holding patterns, the corresponding entry and holding procedures are symmetrical with respect to the inbound holding track" $\endgroup$ – mins Oct 23 '17 at 11:02
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No. The holding pattern can have any inbound course, and any direction. The holding pattern course/direction, depends on departing/arriving traffic, and many other factors. London Heathrow has a clockwise and counterclockwise hold on the fix LYDD. Thanks to Pondlife for pointing LYDD out!

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    $\begingroup$ A better example from your image might be the holds at LYDD: one uses right turns and the other uses left turns. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Oct 23 '17 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ You could use both patterns, do a figure-8 and not get dizzy! :) $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Oct 23 '17 at 17:56

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