Runways are generally labeled by their magnetic azimuth between 01 and 36. This means that runways are normally labeled on each end with a number that is reciprocal to the other by 180 degrees.

Do any runways exist where the approach ends aren't labeled reciprocally to each other?

  • $\begingroup$ "Magnetic variation, however, can have a considerable impact near the poles." but it is of course the same at both ends, unless you want to count thousandths of one degree ;). I'm not sure what you are asking since, as runways are straight, one end must be 180 degrees opposed to the other. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Jul 27, 2016 at 21:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Simon If you have a runway crossing the North pole, you would have to number both ends with 36 don't you? ;-) $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Jul 27, 2016 at 21:54
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    $\begingroup$ On this question there are some examples of runways that are only labeled at one end $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Jul 28, 2016 at 0:43
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    $\begingroup$ "The pole" isn't an exact point, and there is a very large area of "magnetic unreliability" where you could have just about any reading.... $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Jul 28, 2016 at 3:14
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    $\begingroup$ does this count? endlessrunway-project.eu $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Jul 28, 2016 at 9:04

2 Answers 2


Elk City, ID has runway 14/35 with about 30 degrees between reciprocal approach paths: photo of S90

  • $\begingroup$ Elk City was the first one that popped into my head too! Of course, the physical runway surface is not actually labelled. Fun strip! $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Jul 29, 2016 at 10:18

No, but at airports with multiple, parallel runways they will use an adjacent runway heading.

Example: KATL, Hartsfield Jackson Intl, in Atlanta, GA, which has five east-west parallel runways designates them Runways 8L-26R, 8R-26L, 9L-27R, 9R-27R, and 10-28.


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