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With all the aircraft parking going on these days images like this one have made me wonder why the aircraft aren't just parked nose-to-tail:

enter image description here

I realize that rotating the longitudinal axis can help in cases where you move the nose of one aircraft past the tail of the next aircraft. But most of the time the aircraft in the image above are far enough apart for that to be a benefit.

Here's what seems to be a more efficient example:

enter image description here

One thought is that it might be due to prevailing winds on the airfield? Or is this just specific to the A380 or the location?

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If the pavement is wide enough and strong enough (both of which will vary depending on the model of plane) for staggered parking, then that is the most space-efficient option.

If not, then you have to park them single-file. Simple geometry tells us that turning planes roughly 45 degrees (◼️◼️◼️) will be more space-efficient than nose to tail (🔶🔶🔶). For the same reason, some very congested airports have tighter angled parking at gates, whereas those with plenty of room use faster straight-in parking.

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