What is South Flow?


During times of inclement weather, some mornings, or during frontal passages, the wind at SJC will blow from the south. For safety reasons, aircraft must take off and land into these southerly winds, requiring the airport to operate in "south flow," an alternate arrival path into SJC that allows aircraft to land and take off into the wind. During these times, aircraft must follow a basic traffic pattern over the area to the west of SJC over Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, before turning east over Moffett Airfield to return to the airport. As these weather systems pass the airport returns to "north flow," our most common configuration, and Air Traffic Control begins directing aircraft to arrive over downtown San Jose.