Questions tagged [airport-design]

Questions about the planning and design of airports: both the manoeuvring area itself, and the services and passenger facilities.

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76
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4answers
12k views

Why do control towers have tilted glass panels?

Almost all control towers I've seen have tilted glass panels: Amsterdam-Schiphol tower (EHAM), source. What is the reason behind this choice? How is the tilt angle determined?
50
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13answers
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Is there any combination of two airports that are connected via taxiways?

Are there any 2 (or more) airports that are ground-connected so that e.g. aircraft can taxi between them? Would that be even possible from a definition point of view, having a common area with two ...
35
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4answers
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Why do farmers register their fields as airports?

(this seems to be primarily a US phenomenon) So in the vicinity of my parents' place (in a rural area in Indiana), there are several registered airports within several miles' radius. I remember when ...
35
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4answers
2k views

Do any airports have runways or taxiways that cross active rail lines at grade?

Gibraltar has a runway which crosses an active road at grade (which, due to the peninsula’s geography and the resulting constraints on the airport’s location, happens to be the main road connecting ...
32
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1answer
7k views

What is the purpose of a walled area in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport?

Looking at a satellite map to the East of Heathrow Airport, there is a small passenger jet parked in a walled off area. Looking at the aerodrome chart the entire area is listed as Bealine Base, which ...
31
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4answers
8k views

Why do passenger embark on the left side of an aircraft?

I speak of passenger aircraft that can be found on large airports. The left side is used by passengers (and the crew) to embark/disembark (see the position of jet bridges) and the other side to embark/...
29
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3answers
18k views

How flat does a runway need to be?

I always assumed that big runways are flat (or more specifically straight: they might have a slight slope in either direction), but while watching some crosswind landing footage shot at Birmingham ...
27
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3answers
6k views

Is there any technical reason that prevents installation of a jet blast deflector at Princess Juliana airport?

A jet blast deflector (JBD) or blast fence is a safety device that redirects the high energy exhaust from a jet engine to prevent property damage and injury. Regarding the incident on July 13, 2017 ...
27
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3answers
9k views

Why is Heraklion airport a 'captains only' airport?

I was recently watching "EasyJet: Inside The Cockpit" and it said pilots need 4 shoulder stripes to land at Heraklion International Airport, “Nikos Kazantzakis” (IATA: HER, ICAO: LGIR), but it didn't ...
25
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1answer
841 views

What's the reason for this frog finger shaped parking lots at Köln/Bonn airport (CGN)?

Most aprons of international airports are vast areas paved with asphalt or concrete. However, I noticed this structures in the south of Köln/Bonn airport (CGN) (Google maps link): Does anyone know ...
25
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2answers
16k views

How much force does a 747 land with?

I've been told before that the runways for large commercial aircraft have to be built to withstand a large amount of force. But I'm wondering exactly how much it is? When a 747 touches down, how ...
23
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5answers
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Why do airports remove/realign runways?

When looking at Google Earth, I often find myself looking for airports. I often notice that no matter what size airport, over time many of them have abandoned old runways and built new runways in ...
23
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3answers
15k views

Why does Schiphol Airport have such a long taxi?

I recently flew into Schiphol and experienced a very long taxi time (about 20 minutes) from landing to pulling into the pier at the terminal. Given that the flight was only 90 minutes from closing air ...
22
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1answer
5k views

Is it possible to drive into Gibraltar Airport's runway?

The runway of Gibraltar Airport crosses an active 4 lane highway Example Video. My question is are there any security measures which prevent normal traffic from entering the airport through the ...
19
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2answers
3k views

How do passengers board the planes on this airport?

I found a quite "rare" layout on Munich airport. It has jetbridges but I don't see any terminal. Look: How do passengers make it to this point of the airport? By underground?
17
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7answers
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How to build a 2 mile long runway on a 1 mile square island?

On Puzzling.SE I found this question: You have a 1 mile long x 1 mile wide private island that you wish to turn into a resort. A plane requires a 2-miles long runway to take off. What do you do?...
17
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2answers
4k views

What do these white on red words indicate on a London Heathrow taxiway chart?

What do the words in white block capital letters over a red background denote on this aerodrome chart of LHR?
17
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2answers
5k views

Why so much ground time at Frankfurt Airport?

Disclaimer: Total layman here. I frequently fly into and out of Frankfurt Airport (FRA) with regional jets (flight time advertised as 45 minutes) and one thing that everyone is always annoyed about ...
17
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4answers
1k views

Why does the Las Vegas Airport have three control towers?

Why does the Las Vegas Airport have three control towers? I just noticed, and I find it a little weird. There should only be one... Does anybody know details on how this came about? And how they work ...
15
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5answers
13k views

Why are most runways made of asphalt and not concrete?

From the little I know about vehicles in cities, nowadays concrete is preferred to asphalt for road construction as, while initially more expensive, concrete is supposed to be cheaper to maintain. ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Are taxiways numbered in a predictable order?

When taxiing at an airport without a full-blown airport diagram (most commonly, a non-towered airport), how does a pilot know whether taxiway A (Alpha) is on one end of a runway, or the other? Or, in ...
15
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2answers
2k views

How are unpaved strips created and maintained?

I'm under the impression that some large craft are rated for "unpaved strips", which appear to be either some sort of gravel or perhaps dirt. The 727, and this runway, being a good example of this: ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Why aren't airports built identically (like aircraft)?

Considering the delays and mishaps in super-projects (e.g. the new airport in Berlin), wouldn't it be rational to standardize airports in the same ways aircraft are: Building them all according to the ...
11
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3answers
2k views

What regulations or procedures address runway-taxiway interference for aircraft with large wingspan?

Are there cases of airports where a large wingspan aircraft on a taxiway can interfere with another aircraft on the runway? Or do the airport design parameters take care that the largest wingspan ...
11
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1answer
944 views

Are there any “captains-only” airports in the U.S.?

Some airports in the world only allow captains to take off or land the aircraft, due to airport design or environmental conditions (obstacles, high winds). Examples include: Funchal (Madeira, ...
10
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4answers
5k views

Why do some airports have more than 2 runways, when LHR can get by with 2?

I was looking at aerial imagery of various airports and noticed how some have a large number of runways (4-6), while others have a small number. Specifically, I noticed that Heathrow LHR only has 2 ...
10
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2answers
2k views

What factors are considered when a runway is planned?

What environmental factors are considered when a new runway construction is planned (e.g. winds, weather, sun direction, etc.)?
10
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1answer
580 views

How will aiport operations at KOAK be affected when taxiway W is promoted to a runway?

For the record, my question is not about mistakenly using a taxiway as a runway. I've noticed recent changes to the sectional and TAC VFR maps around Metropolitan Oakland International Airport (OAK/...
10
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1answer
936 views

Are zero visibility landings practical and desirable for commercial aviation?

With ILS cat IIIc autoland, equipped aircrafts may land on runways without visibility. However they will not be able to safely leave the runway and taxi to the gate. Airports usually close in fog ...
9
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1answer
2k views

What is the maximum slope for taxiing aircraft?

Every airport I have encountered has flat runways and taxiways. Of course this is not exactly true, as some other questions picked up, and it is also possible that I just happened to visit mostly ...
9
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2answers
402 views

Why would the runway separation for parallel triple simultaneous precision approaches be dependent on airport elevation?

Based on FAA advisory circular AC 150/5300-13A, Airport Design, when operating triple simultaneous precision instrument approaches the parallel runway separation could be reduced from 5000 feet to ...
8
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4answers
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Why is Denver International Airport runway 16R/34L rarely used?

From watching planes land at DIA on Flightradar24, none seem to ever land on 16R (longest runway in the US at a length of 16,000 ft), but instead land on a runway 4,000 ft shorter such as runway 16L (...
8
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1answer
522 views

Can an aircraft be docked at the gate from the right seat?

Not all aircraft can be docked from the right seat, because they have a wheel tiller only on the captain's side, but some can (e.g. the B747-400 of the linked question). The usual docking system at ...
8
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1answer
728 views

Is it fact or fiction that Ashgabat control tower is misplaced?

It's often written that the construction of Ashgabat International Airport was sabotaged by the aesthetic whims of the country's late leader, Saparmurat Niyazov. The story goes that Niyazov, ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Why not a second airbridge at the back? [duplicate]

Airbridges slow boarding and disembarking because (normally) there's only one door in use. But... why? Now the most obvious reason would be that it's very easy to have the aircraft pull forward until ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Why building a stopway instead of just building a longer runway? [duplicate]

I don't get the point of building a stopway. If you have the space to build a stopway, you could just extend the length of the runway. Why are stopways necessary?
7
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2answers
914 views

What is the purpose of this loop in a taxiway?

This image is of Mariscal Sucre International Airport near Quito, Ecuador. (Official site / in English) What is the purpose of the loop in the taxiway plainly visible in this image? From Google ...
7
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2answers
6k views

What is the difference between a concourse and a pier?

Both are narrow buildings with aircraft parked on both sides, so what is the main difference? (image source)
7
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2answers
322 views

Do any airbridges move vertically to match arrival/departure halls?

One of the things that always baffles me is that airports almost always have the arrivals and departures sections on different levels, but that you exit the aircraft into the departures hall. In some ...
7
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1answer
305 views

Why is London City getting a virtual tower?

(Source) London City is not a remote-low-traffic airport. Staffing a remote airport is like having lighthouse keepers. That I understand. And yet the tower will be closed, and moved off-airport to ...
7
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1answer
227 views

In the U.S., what are the requirements for being an Executive airport?

Are there statutory or regulatory criteria for a facility to be called, say, Elbonia Executive Airport as opposed to County, Municipal, Regional, Field, or something else? Is it strictly marketing?
7
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1answer
712 views

Telluride (KTEX): Why is the localizer antenna located where the glideslope should be?

Telluride (KTEX) in Colorado, USA: Source As visible, the localizer antenna for RWY 09 is located where the glideslope antenna is usually found, abeam the touch down zone. The localizer is normally ...
7
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1answer
229 views

Why are offset lead-in arcs used?

Why are offset lead-in arcs used? Image source: Google Earth, showing offset lead-in arcs. There is little literature on the subject matter. I did research it a while back but I lost the PDF's, and ...
6
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3answers
5k views

Why are most runways laid out in a generally East-West direction?

Runways are named by a number between 01 and 36, which is generally the magnetic azimuth of the runway's heading in decadegrees. From what I have read, most airport runways are aligned along an East-...
6
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2answers
875 views

For designing a runway, what are the largest cargo airplanes in use?

I am working on a project where I have to design a runway for large cargo planes and I need to know what kind of planes I should assume would land there.
6
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3answers
3k views

What is the safe speed to use highspeed turnoff?

I understand that high speed turnoff is for the plane to exit the runway asap. What is its design specification and how fast can a plane use highspeed turnoff? Assuming only A320,737 and larger.
6
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1answer
584 views

Why did the north / south runways close at Daugherty Field (KLGB)?

The north / south runway at KLGB were recently closed. Does anyone know the reason for the runway closures?
6
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1answer
235 views

Are there some minimum criteria for a field to be registered with the FAA as an airstrip?

I spend an unacceptable amount of time 'flying' around the country (U.S.) via Google Earth and I'm always zooming in on airplane symbols to have a look at airfields. In the western U.S. there are ...
5
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5answers
1k views

Is King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh actually very big?

Apologies in advance if this is in the wrong place, there isn't a geography StackExchange so this was the next best option I could find. I've read multiple things about the huge size of King Khalid ...
5
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1answer
270 views

Why all the taxiway construction at PHL?

Perusing Google Earth around Philadelphia, I noticed some new taxiway construction at PHL/KPHL. The "time machine" feature of GE shows this to be new (latest imagery data is May 2016)--the paved ...