What are these markings on Kirkwall Airport's runway? From where they are on the runway, they seem like the touchdown markers, is that what they are?
That's the aiming point mark, UK style. The UK AIP GEN 1.7 (2018-8) notes the following reasons for the different marking:
- The shape of the marking means that 1/3rd of it is outside the centre 3rd of the runway and is therefore less prone to rubber contamination.
- The marking is more easily identifiable as it differs from the TDZ markings.
- It provides enhanced visual cues for the angle of approach.
(Source: CAP 637: Visual Aids Handbook, May 2007)
Aiming point. This is where aircraft should touch the runway. Its location depend on landing distance available (LDA). According to Canadian regulation, on common runway length (4000 to 8000 FT) this is located at approximately 1000 FT down from threshold. On longer runways it is located at approximately 1300 FT. As mentioned by “ymb1” this type of marking is used in UK. In North America the aiming point looks like a rectangular shape. For you information, here’s a drawing of Canadian regulation.
During a precision approach (ILS or RNAV (GNSS)), the vertical guidance (usually 3 degree slope) should bring the aircraft close to this point. Even more, the precision approach path indicator (PAPI) if followed as recommended (2 RED / 2 WHITE) should also bring the aircraft close to the aiming point.