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What environmental factors are considered when a new runway construction is planned (e.g. winds, weather, sun direction, etc.)?

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    $\begingroup$ They look for a spot where there are as many spotted owls as possible. $\endgroup$ – Tyler Durden Jun 8 '16 at 17:48
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    $\begingroup$ Have you seen this question? It might answer your question, at least partly. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Jun 8 '16 at 19:13
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    $\begingroup$ Section 17 of this book is related to environmental topics in relation with the airport construction / extension. $\endgroup$ – mins Jun 9 '16 at 21:18
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First, wind rose data, unless you built the airport in the early 20th century without weather data.

enter image description here
By BREEZE Software (http://www.breeze-software.com/) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It's nice to check old airports and see how they evolved over time. In the past they usually built three runways, each separated by 60 degrees in direction, to cover the compass. Over time some are lengthened, others demolished, more are added in the favorable direction, and so on. Nice example is KORD if you want to hunt the history on your own.

Example of runway closure: Why did the north / south runways close at Daugherty Field (KLGB)?

For a commercial airport expecting long haul jets, you need a long runway, to bring down civil works cost you need to find a place with a relatively flat terrain that would house said long runway.

Airport's elevation also plays a factor to runway length. The higher the airport, the longer the runways need to be. Surrounding terrain also is important. Unless you can build an island: VHHH.

For sun direction, engineers recommend Ray Bans, since the Earth spins.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Sun direction doesn't make a difference for the runways but it can be a factor in locating the control tower on the field. $\endgroup$ – Gerry May 4 '17 at 12:41
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Runway Orientation. The runway to be constructed shall be oriented that the approach/departure zone will be free from any fixed obstacle (i.e. buildings, mountains, railroads) penetrating the approach/departure area and as far as practicable away from populous area. The prevailing wind directions shall also be considered.

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    $\begingroup$ This looks like it has been lifted by some other source. Would you mind providing the source? $\endgroup$ – Federico Sep 12 '17 at 12:09
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    $\begingroup$ It's just common sense. I feel this is not so useful answer but i think it is a valid one. $\endgroup$ – vasin1987 Sep 12 '17 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ ICAO Airport Master Plan Manual $\endgroup$ – Joey Saddam Sep 29 '17 at 0:16

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