How come I see some large planes, such as the 747, classified as either Category 5 or 6 Gate Sizes, depending on the publication. Why do some sites count the plane as one size, while others state otherwise? Is there a definitive guide, or is it relative to the country/airport?

  • $\begingroup$ I cannot provide specific exmaples, however I do rember reading that an A380 was classified as a 5, and then later reading an A380 classified as a 6. $\endgroup$
    – Woodman
    Mar 26, 2017 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible that the change in category that you recall was from something early in the A380's development to later and the wingspan changed in that time period? (I have to admit, that a wingspan change of <65m to 80m is pretty unlikely, but it's a possibility, I suppose.) $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Mar 27, 2017 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


I would believe that you are talking about Aircraft Design Group classification which is based off of aircraft wingspan and tail height. These classifications can also dictate what taxiways a certain model of airplane can use.

  • Group I: Wingspan - Less than 49' (15m)
  • Group II: Wingspan - Between 49' (15m) and 79' (24m)
  • Group III: Wingspan - Between 79' (24m) and 118' (36m)
  • Group IV: Wingspan - Between 118' (36m) and 171' (52m)
  • Group V: Wingspan - Between 171' (52m) and 214' (65m)
  • Group VI: Wingspan - Between 214' (65m) and 262' (80m)

PDF for list of Boeing Airplane Group classifications


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