For example, i want to know which runway was used by NH 829 that flies from NRT to BOM (Narita-Tokyo to Bombay-Mumbai)

For flight tracking, I know and use these websites/apps - FlightAware, FlightRadar, FlightStats, Aviability, FlightMapper, Planefinder and Kvikr.

  1. https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/nh829
  2. https://flightaware.com/live/flight/ANA829
  3. https://www.flightstats.com/v2/flight-tracker/NH/829
  4. https://planefinder.net/data/flight/NH829
  5. https://www.flightera.net/flight/All+Nippon+Airways/NH829
  6. https://info.flightmapper.net/flight/ANA_NH_829
  7. https://www.radarbox24.com/data/flights/NH829
  8. https://www.airportia.com/flights/nh829/tokyo/mumbai/
  9. https://www.planemapper.com/flights/NH829
  10. https://kvikr.com/flight/nh829_ana

But none of them provide information about runway used for takeoff or landing at the source or destination airports respectively. I am looking for a publicly accessible, preferably free to use website/smartphone app/API or even a historical dataset (recent flights not those from the previous decade)

Is such information kept a secret (intentionally) or is it just that no one displays it, probably stored in the database. I understand that realtime information may not be available, but for past flights, such data should be available. I guess there could be country-specific restrictions too. But i want to see as much public data for any flight as available.

My ultimate goal is to find out which runway is used by LH717/LH716 and QF25/QF26 for takeoff and landing at HND (Haneda-Tokyo), so that i can get a better view of the Boeing 747 from as close as possible.

  • Won't the day depend? Often load, weather and wind can determine which runway get used?
    – Mark Mayo
    Nov 1, 2018 at 2:48
  • 2
    How is this a travel question? You might have more luck on Aviation
    – user79658
    Nov 1, 2018 at 3:13
  • I think it's reasonably close to "travel" - it's about "photography travel". Note too we often get questions along the lines of "can I see the Eiffel Tower when landing" etc.
    – Fattie
    Nov 1, 2018 at 3:30
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about travelling. Nov 1, 2018 at 11:05
  • 1
    @computingfreak It might help them with planespotting. It has nothing to do with the part where they're travelling to the different city or airport. Just like a question about how to buy books doesn't suddenly become a question about travelling because somebody who is travelling might want to buy a book in the city they're visiting. Nov 2, 2018 at 11:58

2 Answers 2


The runway used depends primarily on the direction of the wind. If the wind isn't very strong, then other considerations might apply (such as taxi distance required). And, the wind direction affects all flights into or out of an airport at any given time. There are no instances where planes will land in the opposite direction to one another. If the wind shifts significantly, the direction may change, but all planes will land in the same direction.

Your flight tracking links (I checked those from FlightAware) do show the runway used, you just have to compare the direction of takeoff or landing with a map of the airport. The tracking gets close enough that the aircraft is definitely not going to do any turns so close to the runway.

If your plan is to view specific flights, then look up those flights in historical tracking, see which runway is used, and show up at an appropriate time and place. Take note of the winds and if they don't make sense (aircraft always take off and land into significant wind), try another day.

  • I have seen planes land on parallel runways (being in one of said planes) at AMS, almost at the same time. So wind direction is not always enough to know which runway.
    – Willeke
    Nov 1, 2018 at 17:54
  • @Willeke: For parallel runways, you can tell which one it was by careful inspection of the flight tracking history on the map. Overlaying satellite imagery can help. Nov 1, 2018 at 18:12

There are many factors that determine the runway in operation. The primary one that Greg mentioned is the direction of prevailing winds. Aircraft take off and land into the wind.

There are other considerations as well. Some airports have parallel runways in operation, so even though flights are taking off in the same direction, they are using different runways.

There might be other considerations - such as temporary stops or closures.

One reliable way is to tune into the ATC radio of the departing airport. You can find a large database of livestreams here. This will tell you exactly what runways are in use (they rarely change in a day).

If you are close enough to the airport in question, you can pick up a radio scanner and tune into the frequency of the tower and listen in live. Tower frequencies are published online.

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