In JO 7110.65X, section 3-9-6(j) says in reference to the 3 minute rule:

j. Separate an aircraft behind another aircraft that has departed or made a low/missed approach when utilizing opposite direction takeoffs or landings on the same or parallel runways separated by less than 2,500 feet by the following minima:

  1. Heavy, large, or small behind super − 4 minutes.

  2. Heavy, large, or small behind heavy − 3 minutes

Do you think this applies to an aircraft in the pattern making approaches to the runway in use after a heavy departs opposite direction?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Aviation.SE! Could you clarify your question as to what 'opposite direction' means, with respect to the approaching aircraft? $\endgroup$ – user18035 Nov 7 '17 at 9:01

If you search for the words "opposite direction" in the order it seems clear that they simply mean what they say, e.g. 3-9-7(a)(1):

Separate a small aircraft weighing 12,500 lbs. or less taking off from an intersection on the same runway (same or opposite direction takeoff) [...]

This is confirmed in JO7210.3AA, Facility Operation and Administration:


Opposite Direction Operations consists of IFR/VFR Operations conducted to the same or parallel runway where an aircraft is operating in a reciprocal direction of another aircraft arriving, departing, or conducting an approach.

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