In the photos for this AvHerald article you can see areas marked in green with yellow stripes around the taxiways.

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The entire maneuvering area appears to be solid concrete. The green painted areas are outside of the taxiway edge markings and the vehicle roadway markings. Is this green area intended to be a buffer zone to account for wings sticking out past the taxiway edges? Or is it just there to help show where the taxiway edges are? Should an aircraft's wingtips remain within the taxiway or can they hang over the edge?

  • $\begingroup$ Are you sure you linked the right AVHerald article? The one you linked is about a crash in the air, not a ground collision... I think you meant to link this one $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    May 23, 2017 at 3:20
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer You are correct. Fixed $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    May 23, 2017 at 4:30

1 Answer 1


It's essentially "fake grass" -- a "no taxi" / "no drive" area, the same as real grass would be. The concrete may very possibly be stressed to support the full weight of big aircraft, and the areas are painted that way simply as a matter of keeping traffic flow in the designated areas, although it's possible that some areas marked that way may not be in a condition that you'd want to taxi on them.

As far as emergency vehicles go, they have permission to do whatever they need to do when responding to an emergency, which includes driving on anything they need to. And the people driving the fire trucks will be well aware of any parts of the tarmac that even they need to avoid -- but if it's even close to being able to support an aircraft, it'll support a fire truck just fine.

More than anything else, though, it's a matter of marking the ramp to designate the "don't taxi here" areas from those where you can taxi. Often, separating a ramp (taxi more or less at will) from a taxiway (ATC clears you where to go, and it's obvious where aircraft will be entering/leaving the taxiway). (As the overhead image shows, wingtips can & do extend over the green areas; adjacent taxiways separated by such areas would be laid out so that aircraft on respective centerlines would have whatever wingtip clearance is required.)

  • $\begingroup$ What do you do if you really want a grass surface then? (Say, if you were toodling along in a Tiger Moth with a tailskid instead of a tailwheel...) $\endgroup$ May 23, 2017 at 0:44
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    $\begingroup$ @UnrecognizedFallingObject According to one old Moth pilot I've talked to, you would just fly above the taxiway at about 35Kt and 5 feet AGL. (No problem doing that - it's well above the stall speed!) When you get to where you want to be, land again. $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    May 23, 2017 at 1:36
  • $\begingroup$ @UnrecognizedFallingObject Umm, don't land at LAX? Actually, there is some real grass there; north of 24R iirc, and in the overhead photo there seems to be some south of 25R (i.e. between 25L and 25R). Of course, that would be landing off of the runways there, which goes back to the first point. Or, being where LAX is, there is also the beach immediately west of the runways... $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    May 23, 2017 at 1:36
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    $\begingroup$ @RalphJ " Umm, don't land at LAX" - My old Moth pilot had some stories of the time (1950s) when you could radio London Heathrow and request to land, take on 2 gallons of fuel, pay for it in cash, and depart - and be taken seriously! (But that guy didn't bother with the main runways - he just landed on the taxiway as close as possible to the fuel bowsers, and took off the same way) $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    May 23, 2017 at 1:45
  • $\begingroup$ @TomMcW, you should ask that as a separate question. $\endgroup$
    – BowlOfRed
    May 23, 2017 at 5:38

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