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I'm planning a model airport and I really don't know how far the wing should be from the gate safety line (I think that's what it is called).

The largest wingspan will be that of an A350.

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    $\begingroup$ Have you looked for the airport planning docs for an A350? I've seen info like that for a variety of aircraft (A350 may or may not be included) posted here. Maybe search this site for them - it might already be available, or may point you to where you might find them publicly available. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 20 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ Have you gone to "satellite view" in your favorite online map and measured a few actual airports? There's usually a scale one can use. One online map (that I know of) even has a measurement tool built right into it. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 20 at 18:07

1 Answer 1

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In short

Serving A350-900 with a wingspan of 64.75m, requires a taxiway with a reference letter E, which is appropriate for aircraft as large as 65m. Minimums:

  • Taxiway centerline distance to apron objects: 43m.

  • Taxiway paved area: 23m.

  • Taxiway paved area + shoulders: 44m.

  • Taxiway strip: 95m.


The recommended taxiway widths are found in ICAO Aerodrome Design Manual - Part 2 - Doc 9157.

Definitions from Doc 9157

  • Shoulder: A shoulder is an area adjacent to the edge of a full strength paved surface so prepared as to provide a transition between the full strength pavement and the adjacent surface. The main purpose of the provision of a taxiway shoulder is: to prevent jet engines that overhang the edge of a taxiway from ingesting stones or other objects that might damage the engine; to prevent erosion of the area adjacent to the taxiway; and to provide a surface for the occasional passage of aircraft wheels.

  • Strip: The taxiway strip should provide an area clear of objects which may endanger taxiing aeroplanes. Consideration will have to be given to the location and design of drains on a taxiway strip to prevent damage to an aircraft accidentally running off a taxiway.

Taxiway width

The taxiway strip width required depends on the reference letter (category) of the facility. The letter indicates which aircraft can be served. The category is based on the maximum wingspan and the maximum main gear wheel span. Table 1.2:

$ \begin{array}{c r r} \text{Letter} & \text{Wingspan} & \text{Wheel span} \\ \text{A} & \text{15m} & \text{4.5m} \\ \text{B} & \text{24m} & \text{6m} \\ \text{C} & \text{36m} & \text{9m} \\ \text{D} & \text{52m} & \text{14m} \\ \text{E} & \text{65m} & \text{14m} \\ \text{F} & \text{80m} & \text{16m} \\ \end{array} $

The A350-900 has a wingspan of 64.75m and a wheel span of 12.87m (see airport planning manual). It requires a facility of category E.

In your case, the taxiway would be an apron taxiway. From Doc 9157:

enter image description here

1.1.9 The requirements for apron taxiways regarding strip width, separation distances, etc., are the same as for any other type of taxiway.

Table 1.1 gives the taxiway width for each category of facility. The taxiway width includes the pavement and the shoulders.

For a facility with reference letter E, the width of the taxiways, including the shoulders, is 44m. Other dimensions are also provided in table 1.1.

Centerline distance to objects

For apron taxiways, an increment, denoted Z in table 1.1, is added for the separation between the wing and objects, to allow for pilot error when following the centerline. This increment Z determines the location of the taxiway centerline relatively to the object:

enter image description here

For a category E, this is 10.5m. It means the centerline will be distant of $\small 65/2+10.5=43$m from apron obstacles.

The same document also describes how taxiway curves should be designed, how taxiways should intersect and the minimum distance they should be separated by.

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