Every day at the Aracaju - SE, Brazil Airport (IATA: AJU, ICAO: SBAR) planes take off from West to East and lands from East to West. But in rare occasions they will land from West to East. I think it might be related to the climate, as this is more common on rainy days.

Why is that?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Pilots prefer to take off and land heading into the wind whenever possible. This also makes ground traffic easier to manage, since it means planes can taxi to the runway at one end and taxi away at the other. So it'd be really unusual (though not unheard of) for an airport to have reciprocal takeoff and landing directions at the same time. So, when you say they land and take off, are you actually watching them land and take off? $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2022 at 0:47
  • $\begingroup$ This often is the case when the runway has a pronounced slope. $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Apr 18, 2022 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ There's a mountain shelf just west of the airport, 70metres high at 1.7km west of the airport, climbing to 120 metres at 16km west. en-gb.topographic-map.com/maps/ri5i/Aracaju $\endgroup$
    – CSM
    Apr 18, 2022 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


Looking at the map of the airport, it appears they only have taxiways on the west side only!

map of Aracaju Brazil airport
Image copyright OpenStreetMap

Patterns may also be affected by wind direction, terrain, noise and airspace rules, but planes departing and landing in opposite directions may not be the most desirable arrangement.

An airplane landing west to east at AJU has to taxi down half the runway to get to the nearest off ramp. Looking at the site from Google Maps, it does not seem to be very busy, so the way they do it may be fine for them. Runway length is 7218 feet, elevation 26 feet, 12/30. Apparently, in recent years, the runway was extended around 2000 feet, which accounts for its current configuration.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .