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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63
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3answers
12k views

Why does Chicago O'Hare have a penalty box?

I was reading What information does a pilot have about aircraft operating on an intersecting runway? and noticed this on the map: (airnav.com) Why is a "penalty box" marked on the map? What is it? ...
54
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1answer
7k views

What is significant about the number 8069 ft?

On a sectional chart legend, the airport icon with a solid magenta or blue disk is labeled as "Hard surfaced runways 1500 ft to 8069 ft in length". This seems like an extraordinarily arbitrary number ...
51
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4answers
26k views

Why are airports in Greece blurred and low res in Google Maps?

Why are airports in Greece blurred and low res in Google Maps?
50
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13answers
14k views

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 ...
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 ...
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)...
48
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4answers
9k views

What is a running rabbit?

My father used to work as an air traffic controller, and often I heard mention of a 'running rabbit'. Obviously, vermin on the runways of airports can be a bad thing, but I don't think he was ...
47
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5answers
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Why do airliners have to park so accurately?

I was watching some airport documentary and I noticed that the planes always had to park precisely. I honestly didn't think so much of it before, but in the documentary, an aircraft parked badly ...
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 ...
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 ...
35
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2answers
6k views

Why do some airports park the aircraft backwards at the gate?

(YouTube) Push-in at Dortmund Airport. While at most airports, aircraft park at the gate facing the building, there are some airports that park aircraft backwards, e.g., Dortmund Airport (shown above)...
33
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4answers
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Why isn't airport relocation done gradually?

Recently Istanbul airport (IST) was relocated from Atatürk over 2 days. Munich Franz Josef Strauss (MUC) was also moved overnight from Munich Riem. Doesn't it cause chaos, since most employees are new ...
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,...
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?
31
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2answers
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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 ...
31
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1answer
2k views

What is this second smaller runway next to London City Airport?

I was looking at London City Airport (EGLC) on Google Maps today when I noticed the remains of a very small runway marked 10/28 just across the water from City Airport's main runway. It can be seen ...
30
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3answers
10k views

What is this gigantic dish at Ben Gurion airport?

As the title asks, what is this thing for? Have never seen anything like it at other airports I've been to.
29
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4answers
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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.
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 ...
28
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3answers
4k views

What is this radar-like thing?

A friend of mine sent me this picture, which Is somewhere in Miami. But I don't seem to recognize it
28
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1answer
4k views

Which (if any) is the “most major” airport / field / strip on Antarctica?

Which airport (/field, /strip, /skiway) is the "biggest", "most supported" on Antarctica? So, has the most permanent staff (do any?) has the most runway facilities such as say runway lights, ...
27
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3answers
8k views

Will air traffic control ever ask a plane to not brake hard on a landing?

In another question, somebody asked why an airplane might not deploy thrust reversers on a landing. One of the answers suggested a few options, including: Depending where the gate was, they may ...
27
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2answers
5k views

What are these vehicles with no callsign used for?

I keep seeing these land based vehicles whenever I am looking airports on flightradar24, like in the image below: Why do they come up on the radar? Do they have a transponder? What is the purpose of ...
27
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2answers
5k views

What does RTF mean?

There is a sign in Tempelhof airport in Berlin. What does the abbreviation RTF mean? I tried to google but found nothing.
26
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9answers
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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? ...
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 ...
26
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1answer
3k views

How do landing fees work at larger airports?

Many larger airports (class Bravos) have a landing fee. What's the process for assessing and collecting the fees? How do these landing fees work with general aviation aircraft? Where can I find out ...
24
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1answer
3k views

When and why was runway 07/25 at Kai Tak removed?

Wikipedia states that Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong originally had two runways, both built under Japanese occupation during World War II: ... In 1942, the Japanese army expanded Kai Tak, using many ...
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 ...
23
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2answers
5k views

Why is this plane circling around the Lucknow airport every day?

Saw this plane circling around Lucknow airport (LKO). This is happening every day. Any idea what is happening?
23
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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?
23
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1answer
3k views

How are large cargo aircraft loaded at airports?

Passenger aircraft are accessed at gates, or using buses. While they are parked waiting for passengers to board, the area they use is billed by the airport. I was wondering what is the procedure for ...
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?
22
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4answers
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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?
22
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2answers
3k views

What are those trucks towing around, and why?

I was in Prague airport and saw those things going around: As for title, what are they towing and why? I can imagine it could be to alter airport layout, but I don't see a use for it. Sub question ...
22
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1answer
36k views

What exactly is an FBO and what services are provided?

To most non-U.S. pilots who have little or no experience flying in the U.S., the concept of a FBO is not very well understood. What exactly is a FBO and what are the services that it can provide? I'...
22
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2answers
3k views

Why have converging runways?

This is Ramstein air base in Germany, Why would you want to have runways converging (or diverging) like that, doesn't seem to do you much good in terms of parallel usage (either the approach, or the ...
21
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4answers
10k views

Why are airport firetrucks painted yellow green?

In my city, most of, if not all of the fire-trucks that serve city emergencies are red, just like this one: But every time that I see an airport emergency that requires the fire-fighters, I see this ...
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 ...
20
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7answers
9k views

Are there any privately owned large commercial airports?

Do any large, commercial airports exist that aren’t owned and run by the city government they exist in/near? To provide context, I’m talking major airports that handle commercial airline volume. Do ...
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 ...
20
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4answers
10k views

How much force is needed to tow an airliner?

Airliners are often (almost always actually) pushed back by a tug or a tractor to leave the gate. The tug can also tow an aircraft that cannot taxi by itself. How much force is required to pull or ...
20
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2answers
27k views

Which civilian airport has the most runways (current and planned)?

I just read Is the airport capacity related to number of runways? . While there are a host of factors, the idea of more runways is obviously so that more flights come in and out. Which is the biggest ...
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 ...
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 ...
18
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2answers
4k views

Why is aircraft marshalling still necessary?

I've seen in a documentary that many airports have people guiding the airplanes to the parking spots (marshals). I've also noticed that the key point is to reach a precise spot on which the nose ...
18
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1answer
2k views

How common are aprons made of bricks?

I found this topic on an external site, it's about a Boeing 737-4 damaged during engine run up at Sialkot international Airport (Pakistan): NL B734 Damaged During Engine Run Up (photos) In the ...
17
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3answers
7k views

What makes an airport “international”?

What are the requirements for an airport to be designated as an international airport in the US? Is there a minimum runway size or required customs office?
17
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6answers
2k views

What is airport tax used for?

Since a very large sum of your ticket goes to airport tax, I was wondering how do they justify it and what is it used for? Take your tax paid on your ticket and multiply it with the number of seats ...
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 ...