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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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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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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 ...
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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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How are runway incursions avoided?

I'm wondering if there's ground radar on planes, or any fallback system other than relying on a controller, for avoiding runway incursions? Have any studies or reports been made that show ...
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Is there a limit of how close a runway can be to the water?

Somtimes planes can either come up short or overrun a runway, ending up in the water. Is there some limit for how close a runway can be to the water? Does it factor into the runway safety area that ...
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Is there a database containing detailed information about airfields and runways?

Does an electronic database containing the various civil runways in a given region of the world exists? Maybe even categorized by type (e.g., grass vs asphalt), length, if controlled or not, etc. If ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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"...
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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 ...
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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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What difference does the choice of paved runway surface make to aircraft?

What difference to the pilot does it make it say a runway is Concrete or Asphalt? Does it require different information in the flight management system or other calculations?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How is a prevailing wind/average temperature study conducted to determine the runway direction and length for an airport?

A popular airport near me (KMYF) has two parallel runways, 28/10 R/L and a crosswind runway, 5/23. Almost always, 28R/L is in use. I'm sure they knew that there was generally a sea breeze in the area, ...
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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 ...
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Is it safe to use a parallel runway's PAPI/VASI?

Many airports have parallel runways but only one runway has a PAPI/VASI. If both runways start at the same point and have similar touch-down points, is it safe to use the parallel runway's lights for ...
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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 ...
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How do you calculate minimum runway lengths for Part 135 operations using the 60% rule?

FAR 135.385 requires that at your destination airport your flight planning shows that you could make a full-stop landing "within 60 percent of the effective length" of the runway when flying transport-...
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How does ATC handle arriving/departing runways that cross?

Forgive my total lack of aviation knowledge. I just flew out of SFO and was fascinated by the fact that pairs of planes alternated between departing on 28L + 28R (simultaneously) and arriving on 19L/R....
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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 ...
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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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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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What is a Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approach (SOIA)?

I have heard about Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approaches (SOIA), special procedures for runways that are spaced particularly close together. How exactly do they work? What are the requirements for ...
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Should you wait to switch to the ground frequency until after crossing a runway?

I've never had the opportunity to fly into a controlled airport with parallel runways, so I've never actually faced the situation. But, in the interest of being ahead of it, when would it be prudent ...