I came across aerial imagery of a dirt strip in northern Idaho with a white "X" at one end of the runway, but no markings at the other. Does this mean the runway is only closed in one direction, or that it's fully closed and one of the markings is missing?

Google Maps image: https://www.google.com/maps/@46.0062134,-114.8435236,590m/data=!3m1!1e3!5m1!1e1

  • $\begingroup$ There is a good example here of a small private paved strip marked with an X at 33 15 39 N 117 05 33 W. $\endgroup$
    – optimax
    Dec 11, 2022 at 19:33

2 Answers 2


I think the X does mean that it is closed in that one direction. If you look at the 3D view you will see that there is a mountain off the approach end of the X runway making landing on that runway virtually impossible. If you were to depart on the other non-X runway you would have to turn relatively quickly to avoid hitting the mountain.

  • $\begingroup$ Since it's not a paved runway, the usual runway identifier numbers (i.e. 10-28, etc) aren't requited, but the "X" warns off anybody who might attempt an approach to the south on that runway. Good find on the cliff just north of the "X". $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Jun 5, 2019 at 0:41
  • $\begingroup$ It's uncharted on the sectional, closest is 2U5. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Jun 5, 2019 at 5:04
  • $\begingroup$ Also worth mentioning that this also applies to taxiways and other places aircraft used to go but should now keep away from. $\endgroup$ Jun 5, 2019 at 22:07

The X closes that approach end. The other end of the runway is considered usable. Also, it may be nonstandard, but I have seen X used with a new threshold for a temporary displaced threshold.


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