For all runways I've known or seen, they're numbered on both sides, with the number on the opposite direction differ by 18.

Are there runways that are numbered only on one side? I.e. due to certain constrains, the runway can only be used in one direction and never the other.

EDIT: I'm looking for runways where the aircraft is always pointing at the same direction. E.g. only runway 9 is available, you can never use runway 27 for whatever reason.

A runway that is blocked on one end will still have two numbers, since you'd land at one direction and takeoff the other.

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    $\begingroup$ if you can land one way you can take off in the other. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ Does an aircraft carrier 'runway' count? :-) $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Pondlife I was thinking the same, but I don't think hull numbers count! :-) $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 16:15
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    $\begingroup$ Looking at the answers, I think there's some confusion here, perhaps kevin can clarify. Are you asking about a runway - let's call it 18 - where both landings and takeoffs take place on 18, and no operations at all are allowed on 36? Or, are you asking about a runway where all operations take place on the same 'end', i.e. takeoffs on 18 only and landings on 36 only? $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 16:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Pondlife edited, I'm referring to the first case. $\endgroup$
    – kevin
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 1:09

2 Answers 2


Yes, there are runways numbered on only one side.

For example, the third runway in the Frankfurt Airport (18, Runway west) is used only for takeoffs (to the south) and not for landings. Hence only number 18 is used. The other runways are used for both takeoffs and landings and are numbered 07C/25C, 07R/25L and 07L/25R.

enter image description here
Thomas Römer/OpenStreetMap data [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This restriction is due to the fact that it will interfere with the traffic in other runways.

enter image description here
Number 36 is not painted.

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    $\begingroup$ This is interesting and a little surprising. It seems like 36 would be numbered, even if landing on it were only available for emergency use. If a plane needs to land in an emergency, the other runways can be closed anyway, so the conflicting patterns wouldn't be an issue in that case. You are right, though. A Google Maps search shows 36 really isn't numbered. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 16:18
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    $\begingroup$ @reirab Heathrow is similar. 09L is only used for landings due to noise. Occasionally for ops reasons, take-offs are allowed from 09L and landings on 09R when the controller is in a good mood and the PIC asks nicely :) $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Simon It's not unusual for runways to be normally used for only take-off or only landing (that's pretty common at big, busy airports,) but it is unusual for the other end to not even be numbered. Both of Heathrow's runways are numbered on both sides. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 18:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Sean You're quite right. Sometimes I do need to be smacked in the head with the obvious. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 0:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Sean Now that you mention it, there's also TAM Flight 3054, which overran the runway, crossed the road at the end of the runway and ended up in a warehouse. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 0:41

A mountain can get in the way for example at Lukla airport

The topography of the place makes any go-around impossible. At the south, the runway is the end of an angled drop of about 2000 feet. This cliff is fenced off as a precautionary measure. At the northern end of the runway there is a huge mountain terrain. It leaves no room for error.


Planes land on runway 6 and take off on runway 24.

most information copied from this answer

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    $\begingroup$ This runway is still numbered on both sides, though. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 18:07
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    $\begingroup$ Not only is the runway numbered on both sides, it is used in both direction—for take-offs in one and landings in the other. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 19:07

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