Curious to know how two planes can be on the same taxiway facing opposite to each other at the same time? Please have a look at the satellite view of the following coordinates in Google Maps:

enter image description here
(-27.369843, 153.126482)

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Are you asking how they were physically placed there? $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Apr 26, 2017 at 4:57
  • 19
    $\begingroup$ Anecdotal comment, this happens a lot in basic simulator training in ATC school. They are typically facing towards eachother though, not away from eachother. And you'll usually hear some loud swearing when it happens ;) $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2017 at 5:01
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Kind of related: aviation.stackexchange.com/q/10089 $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Apr 26, 2017 at 5:47
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ In answer to the "How can they be portion" - they were pushed and/or pulled there by tugs. The real question is why the heck are they parked in the middle of the taxiway instead of near one end or the other. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Apr 26, 2017 at 17:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of How does Boeing park several airplanes on a single runway at Paine Field? $\endgroup$
    – dalearn
    May 16, 2018 at 15:24

3 Answers 3


The taxiway is being used for parking. Specifically, parking of two MD-80s that have attracted press attention—The Australian: Clive Palmer’s $10m in tax-haven jets sitting idle:

TWO 155-seat jets owned by Clive Palmer and branded with the name of his controversial and longtime loss-making company Mineralogy sit mothballed in a remot­e corner of Brisbane airport.

The McDonnell Douglas MD-82 jets, worth roughly $5 million each, are registered in the Cayman Islands tax haven and have sat mothballed for months, possibly years.


A spokeswoman from Brisbane airport confirmed the planes were owned by Mr Palmer and had sat idle for “at least several months”, but was unable to confirm exactly how long. “The space is leased from Brisbane airport and the owner pays leasing fees to have them there,” she said.

That article from 2014 shows them parked head-to-tail, but presumably they've been moved since then (the Google maps imagery is from 2017).

If you're wondering how I found this, I zoomed in on the satellite image and used 3D mode to get a better view of the side of the aircraft well enough to sort of make out the "Mineralogy" label on the side, and Googled from there.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Good find. It looks like YBBN moves them around. In the current mapping imagery, they are shown in two places! $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Apr 26, 2017 at 5:44
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Great detective skills $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2017 at 17:41
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ More like terrifying detective skills. I'm really scared of satellites now =p $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Apr 26, 2017 at 18:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @CortAmmon Google maps "satellite" view is actually from aerial photography. $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2017 at 18:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @CortAmmon you should really be scared of Google & their "street view" images, and I'm pretty sure they put the "street view" cameras on some relatively low flying airplanes to spruce up their 3D models $\endgroup$
    – Xen2050
    Apr 27, 2017 at 5:36

Without knowing the exact date and time that the images were taken and with access to someone on shift at the time, it's impossible to give a definitive answer so here are some "myth plausibles".

  1. Mapping images are stitched together from different frames from different satellite passes by software. The software will select two images based on contrast, clarity and other optical attributes or perhaps because of data corruption. Whilst this image is made up of at least two frames from different times, I can see no signs that the two aircraft are from different frames.

  2. A controller made a mistake and cleared two aircraft onto the same taxiway at the same time. It's happened before, it will happen again. However, these are tail to tail and I cant think of anyway that this could have happened.

  3. The only remaining explanation I can think of, and the evidence points to this being the case, is that the taxiway is being used for temporary parking. The ramp is pretty full and it is plausible that the two aircraft have been parked tail to tail so that either one can get out without having to move the other.

Searching Google shows regular NOTAMs which support this, e.g.

J0899/13 NOTAMN [ Taxiway ] Q)YBBB/QMXAU/IV/NBO/A/000/999/2723S15307E A)YBBN B)1303140318 C)1306130700EST E)TWY F3 NOT AVBL DUE ACFT PARKING**

  • $\begingroup$ Is your point 2 specific to the situation in the question? There's no problem having multiple airplanes on a taxiway as long as they're headed in the same direction. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Apr 26, 2017 at 16:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @fooot No. I mean that two aircraft have ended up nose to nose (or at least, going in opposite directions) on the same twy. So yes, it's possible (and normal if going the same way) for two aircraft to taxi on the same twy but not tail to tail! $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Apr 26, 2017 at 16:45

The image is real they have been parked that way for several years and have not moved I know this because they are at the General Aviation Terminal at Brisbane airport and I go by them fairly regularly there is no air controller errors of trick photography anyone looking out the window flying in and out of Brisbane Domestic will see them sitting there.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .