Questions tagged [runways]

A runway is a "defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and takeoff of aircraft" (ICAO definition).

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48
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6answers
92k 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)...
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2answers
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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 ...
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Can jet airplanes operate on 'rough' airfields?

A question I've always wondered is: can jet aircraft - not turboprop in this case - operate from 'rough' airstrips. My definition of 'rough' is grass or maybe a smooth mud airfield. I know that there'...
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4answers
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What determines in which direction a runway is used?

A nearby airport has a single 05/23 runway (3900m long), where airplanes start and land in one direction during certain periods and in the opposite direction during other periods. How is the ...
29
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1answer
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Why doesn't the A380 use its outboard thrust reversers?

One thing I noticed with the A380 is that it only seems to use the inboard thrust reversers while landing. I suspect it relates to FOD ingestion or perhaps damaging the runway. This is strange though, ...
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3answers
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How heavy is too heavy to land on a grass strip?

This is actually a tricky question, because it's not just about gross weight, but about how much weight each individual tire imparts into the ground. This, of course, depends on the design of the ...
9
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1answer
5k views

How do pilots use stopway, EMAS, clearway and displaced threshold?

I noticed in Why is “clearway minus stopway” used in V1 adjustments? that a stopway and an EMAS are both indicated by yellow chevrons: Same Opa-Locka stopway on the left, and San Diego EMAS on the ...
29
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3answers
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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 ...
26
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3answers
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Why is a large flashing “X” placed on a closed runway at Reagan National Airport?

Runway 15 at DCA (Reagan National) is closed at night and other times. By "closed," I mean that airport management places a gigantic lit/flashing "X" in the landing zone of 15. I'd estimate the big "X"...
33
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2answers
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Southwest corner of LAX has peculiar airplane parts, what is this area?

In the Southwest corner of LAX (at the intersection of Imperial Highway and Pershing Dr.) there is a strange looking area that appears to have some abandoned airplane parts. Also, it looks like a road-...
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2answers
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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 ...
11
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1answer
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What determines the touchdown zone and aiming point markings on a runway?

Large runways usually have a marked touchdown zone, and a marked aiming point (with two giant bars in the US). How is that location chosen? It seems like it is frequently further down the runway than ...
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3answers
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Do runways need some special kind of tar or protective layer?

Do runways of the airports have some special kind of tar or protective layer to avoid the wear and tear in comparison to that of the Highways as they need to handle the much high pressure and the ...
11
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2answers
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What is a navigational fix? Where can I get navigational fixes for a local airport?

Amateur in aviation, so please explain the purpose of navigational fix and its characteristics. How is a navigational fix being placed around the runway, or how it is determined this would be the ...
23
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3answers
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May an emergency aircraft land on a closed runway?

Let's say that you're on approach to a remote airport to refuel (for arguments sake, Funafuti International Airport), with 1-2 hours of fuel remaining in your aircraft. Contacting ATC to request ...
20
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3answers
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What is the minimum distance allowed between two parallel runways?

Is there an international regulation for this matter or does it differ from one country to another?
18
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4answers
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Why would an airplane pilot choose to intentionally use more runway than required for a takeoff?

An assumed temperature takeoff intentionally requires a pilot to use more runway than would be normally required. Why would someone want to do that instead of getting off the runway in the minimum ...
20
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3answers
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How does having multiple ATC towers affect airport operations?

I know there are airports with more than one ATC Tower, though I only know it from my own country (SCHIPHOL - EHAM). This airport has two towers called Tower-Center and Tower-West. Tower-West is built ...
13
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2answers
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Are there runways that are numbered only on one side?

For all runways I've known or seen, they're numbered on both sides, with the number on the opposite direction differ by 18. Are there runways that are numbered only on one side? I.e. due to certain ...
13
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3answers
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How are landing aircraft handled during an emergency runway closure?

A Hypothetical scenario A landing aircraft at a busy airport such as London Gatwick LGW has an issue during landing that requires the immediate closure of the runway. My understanding is that ...
26
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2answers
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How do airports determine when they should change their runway numbers?

Runway numbers in most of the world are based on the runway's orientation relative to magnetic north. For example a runway with a magnetic heading of 135° to 144° will be numbered ...
17
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1answer
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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 ...
11
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3answers
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Is there a minimum distance between a runway and a public road?

Does the FAA require a minimum distance the between the TDZ of a runway and a public road? The reason I ask is because an aircraft landing at a small GA airport (Garnett Municipal, K68) came across ...
10
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2answers
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Is there a name for the area for aircraft to back track near the runway threshold?

Some airports have an area, on the threshold, used to back track the aircraft, mainly because of the their wingspan, they look like a half wheel. Is there any designation for this area?
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1answer
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More than one runway with the same heading. How are they labelled? [duplicate]

Given that runways are labelled by magnetic heading. What happens in airports that have more than one in the same direction? How are they labelled? Are there any such airports?
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How do pilots identify the taxi path to the runway?

When the aircraft is readying to taxi, the ATC asks them to proceed to some runway number, say runway 09. In big airports, how do the pilots identify the correct path to their runway? Does the ATC ...
18
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4answers
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Why can't aircraft be cleared to land before the preceding aircraft turns off the runway?

For example, let's say we have an Airbus A330 in front, which has just landed, well past the threshold and looks like it's going to be alright. Next in line to land is a small general aviation ...
17
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What's a quick way to determine which runway to use?

Let's say I call up Wx and have the wind direction and I know the runway headings from my charts and the pattern is empty. I can do the math, but it's tedious and slow and even worse when there are ...
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3answers
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Who assigns an arriving aircraft a runway and runway exit to use?

I recently bought a simulator for tower controllers (Tower! 2011) and have some questions about the responsibilities of the tower controller: When an aircraft wants to land at 'my' airport I get ...
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3answers
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Why can't runway 18 at Frankfurt Airport accept takeoffs or landings in the opposite direction?

Runway 18 at Frankfurt Airport is one example of a runway which is numbered on only one side. Aircraft can only takeoff in the 18 direction, and cannot takeoff in the 36 direction, nor land in any ...
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2answers
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What is this runway marking on Kirkwall Airport's runway?

What are these markings on Kirkwall Airport's runway? From where they are on the runway, they seem like the touchdown markers, is that what they are?
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4answers
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Why is one of two parallel runways sometimes closed in foggy weather?

A few times, when flying into SFO, me and my fellow passengers were informed that due to foggy weather one of two parallel runways there is closed, causing delays. So, a few questions: Why can only ...
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3answers
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In the U.S., Is it ever legal for an aircraft to occupy the runway turnaround area while another is taking off or landing?

In voretaq7's answer to the question Is there a name for the area for aircraft to back track near the runway threshold?, it is mentioned that runway turnaround areas are considered part of the runway ...
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1answer
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What's the point of having ILS on runway signs?

Runway signs show the ILS category next to the runway designation. But if you flew and didn't drive to the airport, you already know (hopefully). Either way, you are taking off, so you don't really ...
20
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3answers
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Do landing strips suffer from landing wheel tire tracks?

I've now seen several landing strips up close and there are lots of tire tracks from planes' landing wheels. I wonder if it somehow modifies the properties of landing strips to make for poorer landing ...
15
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1answer
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Do landing strips suffer from potholes or rutting?

In companion to the other question asking about wheel tire tracks. Planes come down and stop with a significant amount of force which I would expect to cause either rutting or potholes. Are runways ...
12
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1answer
970 views

Why is the aiming point distance shorter in the US vs. Europe for long runways?

In essence, if you compare EGLL and KJFK (but it works for other airports too) you would see that US airports generally adhere to the rule of 1000 ft in distance between threshold and aiming point ...
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2answers
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How much power do planes use when taking off at London City?

I watched a video of an A318 taking off at London City and it took just 20 seconds from setting takeoff thrust to getting airborne. BA A318 takeoff @ LCY (takeoff thrust @ 1:23, airborne @ 1:43) and ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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Does runway 32/33R at Madrid actually have a kink in it?

In this satellite image of Madrid airport (MAD/LEMD)... Source:Google maps satellite view Alternate link from maps.google.nl still renders incorrectly for me, but appears fine for others... ...it ...
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1answer
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How is tire rubber removed from the runway?

Every time an aircraft touches down, the tires are spun up rapidly. As a result, some rubber is left at the touchdown zone. (image source) As time goes on, more rubber is accumulated at the ...
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10answers
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Could you land a large airplane on short circular runways?

Considering that building runways is expensive and that they take up a lot of space, could you land a large commercial airliner on a circular runway, braking as you go around the curves?
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6answers
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What is the biggest airplane that does not need a paved runway?

Since we don't need a control tower for instrument landings I was wondering what else that is thought to be needed could be skipped. I know some small general aviation is done on grass runways and I ...
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3answers
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Is the airport capacity related to number of runways?

Lets say two different airports have the same number of runways, and terminals capable of handling any number of passengers. I realise that year round climate may have an effect on the number of days ...
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6answers
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What will be the immediate action by the pilot and ATC if any plane blocks the runway while landing?

Suppose, if the Airport has only one runway and one plane is trying to take off at the end of the runway and other plane trying to land from the other end of the runway. Due to any reason if the ...
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4answers
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How do PAPI lights work?

Usually, there are four lights at the sides of runways which show airplanes' altitude status: four red lights: too low two red, two white: appropriate altitude four white lights: too high. If two ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
9
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2answers
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How is the runway pavement chosen?

Wikipedia list a number of runway pavement. For specific airports, the choice is obvious (e.g. ice, snow). But there are few pavement I cannot figure out how to decide which one use. Why an airport ...
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4answers
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When an airport has helipads, why would a helicopter take-off or land on a runway?

At an airport with both runway and helipad (KASH) I have seen both being used for helicopter takeoffs and landings. Is there anything that causes the helicopter pilot to choose to use the runway ...