Questions tagged [runways]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
4answers
2k views

When is runway slope most important?

Based on this other answer, a new question arose. When is runway slope most important, at take-off or at landing? Or is it equally important in both flight phases?
14
votes
1answer
2k views

How can the same runway have two different gradients?

In an unrelated answer rbp linked to this Atlanta airport info page, and runway 8R/26L caught my eye. If I understand correctly, these two runways are the same piece of pavement, but refer to the use ...
29
votes
3answers
21k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

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 ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the rule of thumb for land/taking-off on a sloped runway?

Skyvector lists the gradient for KMCI as 0.3%. What is the rule of thumb for how large a gradient needs to be before you always take off downhill and always land uphill like they do at Lukla? Assume ...
17
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

How are go-arounds safe with close parallel runways?

Some airports operate simultaneous take off and landing on parallel but close runways. By close, I mean like the pairs of runways at LAX. What if a landing aircraft makes a go-around at the same time ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How to know if an airport has PAPI lights?

Is there any way to identify whether an airport has PAPI lights (2-light or 4 light system, doesn't matter)? I am working on some map generation and using aerial images to identify PAPI lights for ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

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 ...
22
votes
4answers
32k views

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 ...
26
votes
2answers
18k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Why is the minimum runway length non-linear in relation to the landing weight?

The graph below shows the landing runway length requirements for a Boeing 747-8. (taken from the Boeing 747-8 Airplane Characteristics for Airport Planning) Considering the fact that the kinetic ...
10
votes
1answer
544 views

Are there any rules regarding construction near a private strip, such as stand off distance?

I would like to construct a facility next to a private strip. What are the FAA rules concerning this such as stand off or height?
32
votes
6answers
17k views

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'...
30
votes
1answer
23k views

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, ...
38
votes
4answers
34k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the purpose of several mandatory stops (RWY AHEAD) at busy airports?

I learned that red signs mean: full stop is mandatory. Do aircraft have to stop before CAT III 08L sign AND before CATI 26R-08L sign? What is the purpose of making two stops? Is the area between ...
21
votes
2answers
34k views

What does the number of white bars in runway's threshold mean?

At the beginning of each runway there are some white bars. Does number of bars in threshold mean anything?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
23
votes
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

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 ...
17
votes
2answers
6k views

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 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
26
votes
3answers
9k views

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"...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

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 ...
37
votes
11answers
15k views

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?
12
votes
2answers
6k views

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?
21
votes
4answers
9k views

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 ...
39
votes
2answers
84k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

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, ...
9
votes
3answers
551 views

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 ...
26
votes
2answers
11k views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
34k views

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-...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

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....
20
votes
4answers
7k views

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 ...
17
votes
6answers
33k views

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 ...
52
votes
6answers
99k 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)...
16
votes
1answer
7k views

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 ...
34
votes
5answers
3k views

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 ...

1 2 3 4 5
6