Questions tagged [airport]

Questions about the aviation aspects of airports. Questions focused on the passenger aspects should be asked at Travel.SE.

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48
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6answers
93k views

How are runways numbered?

I'm not a professional pilot, just an enthusiast, so this might seem obvious to others; but I noticed that airports don't use sequential numbering for runways, starting from 1. Liverpool (for example)...
15
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3answers
34k views

How does an aircraft taxi?

Does an aircraft use its engines to taxi or is it always pulled by some other vehicle? I have seen a small lorry pulling it sometimes; is it really pulling the huge thing, or does the aircraft use ...
50
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10answers
36k views

Can you fly a light GA airplane into a major hub? What operational considerations are there if you do?

I did my training around the Seattle area, and was told that landing at SeaTac Airport (the region's major International/Commercial airport), while not strictly forbidden, was definitely frowned upon ...
32
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4answers
18k views

What is the cable connected to a plane for?

I've seen that airplanes are connected to some wire like in the picture. What is it's name and what is it for?
17
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3answers
1k views

How does a large airport switch flow?

Airplanes prefer to land into the wind, and airports adjust for changing wind direction by changing the active runway. I've been flying a small plane in the pattern when the tower asked me to do a ...
11
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1answer
4k views

Who decides whether an airline docks at a jetbridge or parks at a remote stand?

A trip I took led me to wonder how airports/airlines decide when to allocate a gate and when to board out on the apron. Yesterday, I flew TLV-IST-BOS on Turkish Airlines. At the start of the trip, I ...
23
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2answers
5k views

What happens to incoming flights when the airport shuts down?

In Die Hard 2 terrorists take over an airport's ILS and landing lights on a snowy night (visual landing is impossible) and start making threats essentially holding the planes hostage. The tower ...
29
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6answers
55k views

How does security and baggage checking work in regards to a private jet?

I was told recently that if you are flying on your own private jet, you can drive your car directly on to the runway, park next to your plane and board without any security checks. This can't be true ...
11
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1answer
2k views

There's an airfield somewhere in the United States with a metal runway. Where is it?

Somewhere in the United States, there's an airfield (probably military) with a runway made entirely out of metal. I've seen the approach plate for it, but I can't remember the identifier. What ...
10
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4answers
23k views

How do I determine the VFR pattern altitude at an airport?

How do I determine the VFR pattern altitude at an airport? Can I find it on a sectional?
26
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2answers
74k views

What's the functional difference between PAPI and VASI?

PAPI and VASI seem to be very similar in the the information they provide - i.e. are you on the glide slope or off it. Is there a functional difference between the two? If there is a difference, and ...
37
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2answers
70k views

If I own land, can I create a private runway on my property for my own use?

In the United States, if I own land that has an area suitable for landing a small general aviation airplane, can I just create a private runway, or do I have to officially be registered with the FAA ...
19
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6answers
10k views

What are the ways to keep the birds away from airfields?

I know bird strikes are a major issue for many airports, and that measures are taken to keep birds away. There are some obvious things airports can do like not to have any stray garbage, food, etc. in ...
12
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1answer
1k views

What are the practical impacts of airports in the US being mostly IATA Level 2?

IATA classifies airports using levels, which determine how slots are allocated. Source Definitions of levels by IATA, from Slot Coordination Switzerland: Level 1: airports where the capacity of ...
11
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1answer
1k views

How does the FAA determine which format of location identifier to assign to an airport?

In the U.S., FAA location identifiers are assigned to registered aerodromes. However, these can have different formats: 3 Letters (e.g. ORD) 1 Number and 2 Letters (e.g. 1AD) 2 Numbers and 1 Letter (...
8
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2answers
9k views

What do they use to de-ice aircraft and runways on snowy days?

One of the answers to this question mentions how runways are usually in need of de-icing on cold days (which makes sense), and as anyone who has ridden an airplane on a cold day knows, planes need de-...
16
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2answers
2k views

What is the methodology for assigning airport codes?

Pearson airport in Toronto has the airport code YYZ, which does not reflect the name Pearson or the city of Toronto. This seems contradictory to other IATA codes like LGA (Laguardia), JFK (John F ...
12
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1answer
7k views

Can two airports have a different ICAO code but share the same IATA code?

I am searching some airports databases and I find some airports with the same IATA code with different ICAO codes. Is it mistake in the database? Is it OK? For example: Beaufort MCAS - Merritt ...
21
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1answer
13k views

Where did the “K” identifier prefix for US airports come from?

Airports in the United States are (mostly) three letters, prefixed with a K. Where did this standard originate? Why K? This is similar to "where did the U.S. N ...
17
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1answer
7k views

How often do runways need to have typical maintenance?

At a large airport (think Heathrow, JFK, O'Hare), I would imagine that the runways take a lot of abuse from all the huge planes landing on them. So, a quick multipart question: How do large ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Under what conditions are passengers required to take precautionary measures during refueling?

I was on a recent flight with a fuel emergency, during which the passengers were required to take precautionary measures. Under what circumstances are the precautionary measures mentioned below ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Can an airport without an FAA controlled tower have their own tower and controllers?

Can an airport not eligible for an FAA tower and controllers choose to fund their own air traffic control tower? Can that airport require pilots to taxi, approach, land, and take off according to ...
9
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1answer
2k views

When is a control tower required?

I know there are busy airports without control towers, and the converse is also true. There is a process for an airport to acquire a control tower. Sometimes, airports want to have their own control ...
20
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4answers
6k views

How does Boeing park several airplanes on a single runway at Paine Field?

On DigitalGlobe, I saw the following picture in an article, which talks about some of the best aerial shots of 2014. Paine Field, Washington Questions 1) Did the plane, highlighted with a yellow ...
31
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2answers
17k views

Why is a special certification needed to land at Paro Airport?

Why is Paro Airport (currently the only international airport of Bhutan) considered one of the most dangerous airports to land in the world? Is it because of the mountains? In my opinion, Princess ...
13
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1answer
35k views

How do airports charge airlines for using their gates?

I'm wondering how the airports charge an airline for using a gate or a parking spot (if they use buses). Does the airline have to pay per time or per "event" or do the larger airlines have fixed gates ...
22
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4answers
7k views

How is an aircraft aligned at a jet bridge?

I see these jet bridges (or aerobridges) at nearly every new airport I go to. How are aircraft aligned with these bridges, particularly the A380 which has doors on both decks?
16
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2answers
5k views

Is it possible to go-around at Lukla Airport?

On this airport, it seems the runway end with a wall followed by a mountains. Thus the pilots physically can't overrun the runway and if they decide to interrupt the landing, the go-around maneuver ...
15
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3answers
2k views

Why fewer operations on weekends?

Why are there fewer air carrier operations on weekends? Looking at PHX data, we have the following annual trend that clearly shows a weekly drop of about 8% on weekends: and when I average the data a ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Where is it documented an airport is military?

On sectional charts (at least in the US) military airports appear with the same symbols as public airports, eg. KBKF. Some military bases are within restricted airspace. I would assume all military ...
8
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2answers
4k views

How are Landing Fees Collected?

Some airports (mostly busy Class B airports from what I gather) have a landing fee. For example, in the Airport Facility Directory for San Francisco, there is a section under "AIRPORT REMARKS" that ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Why do budget airlines not use the jetbridge that's right there?

Related to Who decides whether an airline docks at a jetbridge or parks at a remote stand?, but I'm not asking about remote stands. I recently took an easyJet flight (A319/320) from London Gatwick (...
29
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4answers
6k views

What are the steep ramps often erected at large airports?

For example, the following white and orange striped ramp: I've seen these at a couple large airports but I've never seen them actually used for anything.
22
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4answers
5k views

Where is the taxiway between the Boeing factory and Paine Field airport?

How do the Boeing aircraft taxi to Paine Field (KPAE) from the Everett Factory? It looks like a 'road' connecting the airport and the factory. Do they use this?
12
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1answer
2k views

What is METAR and how is it read?

I was reading an article about TAM Airlines Flight 3054 crash and I saw the following: METAR SBSP 172200z 35008kt 7000 -ra Bkn008 Ovc070 15/14 Q1018 SBSP 172200z 35008kt 7000 -ra Bkn008 ...
10
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2answers
6k views

How can I find traffic patterns that pass over my house?

I live in Atlanta, GA well north of the airport and typically there is very few large, commercial aircraft that pass overhead. But there is an on-going security issue at the airport today and there ...
7
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1answer
413 views

Is there any System to warn of Runway Incusion?

From what I learn, in large towered airports, the control of who enters and leaves the runways belong to the Control Tower Operators. And that got me thinking: Is there any Equipment or System in ...
6
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3answers
3k views

What do numbers signify in airport codes?

As an Air Cadet, we go gliding very frequently. However, I've noticed something about the airport that we go to. The airport that we go to, Markham Airport, has a different airport code. CNU8. ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Why circle an airport after takeoff? (SLC particularly)

I left SLC (Salt Lake City) this morning heading to MCO (Orlando). On previous flights, I remember takeoff similar to other airports. We got in the air, gained altitude, and moved to our heading and ...
5
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2answers
4k views

What distance can you see aircraft lights from?

My parents bought a house and it's approximately 50-60 km from the nearest airport and one day when it was dark I've noticed lights on the sky and because I live in a big city close to the airport I ...
4
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1answer
523 views

What is the minimum and maximum number of jet bridges used on an Airbus A380?

What is the minimum and maximum number of jet bridges used for embarking and disembarking on a typical Airbus A380 trip and why?
4
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3answers
4k views

Why do multiple planes arrive from the same airport at the same time?

I'm looking at the Arriving flights page of the Vancouver Airport and in many cases there are several planes coming from the same airport, arriving at the same time, all at the same gate. Does it ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Where to do the Run-up and Safety on the Return Flight?

At my home airport, we do the run-up on the ramp, but I guess each airport has its own preference. What is the "standard" run-up location? If I recall from my training early on, you can do it at the ...
3
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4answers
687 views

Do flights of a specific callsign always depart and arrive at the same airports?

I've been doing some research using flight data, but I'm not particularly versed with aviation. From a quick look, it appears that, say, a flight with callsign SAA203 will always be departing from ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Why do simultaneous-ops parallel runways need to be so far apart?

In the answers to this question about Denver's widely-scattered pinwheel of runways and this question about Schiphol's runway out in the middle of nowhere, it's mentioned that parallel runways are ...
45
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4answers
34k views

My windsock is erect, what does this mean?

I know that airport windsocks are calibrated to reach full erection at a particular wind velocity. At half that speed, the first half of the windsock should be erect and the second half should droop ...
33
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3answers
10k views

Are private jets allowed to land at London Heathrow?

Heathrow is among the worlds busiest airports, with traffic mostly (entirely?) from airliners. Are private/business jets (e.g. Gulfstream G650 or Cessna Citation X) allowed to land at Heathrow? If so,...
-1
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1answer
12k views

What aviation-related TV shows are there? [closed]

This question aims to serve as a Community Wiki resource. Feel free to edit the list of aviation-related TV shows below! Related: What aviation-related movies are there?
19
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2answers
8k views

What are the most efficient layouts of multiple runways?

Many airports have more than one runway. How should runways be built in order to achieve maximum usage and minimum delays? Many major airports have most, if not all, parallel runways. Examples ...
26
votes
9answers
9k views

Why do airports have to close in bad weather?

Shouldn't aircraft be able to withstand winds of up to 100 mph? When flying the wind is at a much higher speed than that. Shouldn't they be able to take-off through fog using instruments alone? ...