Hot answers tagged

90 votes
Accepted

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

The short answer seems to be that some countries have persuaded Google to blur out specific areas for "national security" reasons. Wikipedia has an article on it with some more (limited!) information. ...
user avatar
  • 70.4k
83 votes
Accepted

Why do airliners have to park so accurately?

This is to ensure that there is space for all equipment around the aircraft. It's not critical to the centimeter, but if it's off by a meter or more there may be problems. For example, the tail may ...
user avatar
  • 4,491
70 votes

Why do airports have directional runways instead of a large area to operate in any direction?

The typical World War II "A" runway shape solves this issue, without covering a huge amount of area with concrete, etc. Even so, that configuration has fallen out of use in modern airports. ...
user avatar
  • 8,850
65 votes

Why isn't airport relocation done gradually?

Gradual relocation essentially mean having to staff and equip nearly two full airports during the transition period. It is also annoying for the travelers that want to transfer planes and need to ...
user avatar
55 votes
Accepted

My windsock is erect, what does this mean?

Windsocks come in various sizes and speeds, but an FAA Standard Wind Sock aligns with the wind at 3 knots, and is fully extended at 15 knots like CGCampbell pointed out. A typical wind sock (at least ...
user avatar
  • 67.3k
55 votes
Accepted

What is a running rabbit?

Background The Sequenced Flashing Lights are part of some approach lighting systems and are a row of strobe lights that flash in sequence to direct the pilots eyes to the runway. They are useful in ...
user avatar
  • 8,518
54 votes
Accepted

Is there any combination of two airports that are connected via taxiways?

There are numerous joint use (commercial/military) airports with separate terminals/ramp areas. There aren't many where there are two connected fields. The only one I'm aware of is Naval Air Station ...
user avatar
  • 17.8k
54 votes
Accepted

Do I need explicit clearance to taxi on an inactive runway?

Yes, you need an explicit instruction (not clearance) to taxi on any runway - and you got one! The controller told you to "taxi on [runway] 10" which is about as explicit as it gets. If he did not ...
user avatar
53 votes
Accepted

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

The approach to Paro is unbelievably complicated. It is flown visually through a valley with high mountains all around and no sight of the airport until the last moment. Here is a cut of a map with ...
user avatar
  • 54.2k
48 votes
Accepted

What is significant about the number 8069 ft?

Apparently you aren't the only person who wondered this; the FAA actually has it in an FAQ: What is the significance of a runway 8069 feet in length and why are two different aerodrome symbols used ...
user avatar
  • 70.4k
48 votes

Why do airliners have to park so accurately?

I worked for 3 years as a ramp agent and there are two reasons: Jet bridges and safety. Jet bridges have plenty of leeway, but not a lot. This gets worse in winter because those things hardly move ...
user avatar
46 votes
Accepted

Are there any privately owned large commercial airports?

Building an airport is a very expensive endeavor and usually involves government subsidies or is completely done by the local government. In recent decades, most government owned airports in Europe ...
user avatar
  • 45.7k
45 votes
Accepted

What was this mystery flash on an airport runway?

It's likely to be a flare / flash bang for bird control. Schiphol uses these (amongst a wide variety of methods). Bird dispersal equipment There are various resources a bird controller can ...
user avatar
  • 75.2k
43 votes
Accepted

Why does Chicago O'Hare have a penalty box?

In addition to what vasin mentioned in his answer, a mechanic from O'Hare mentioned hearing ATC direct aircraft to go there when they weren't ready for takeoff by the time they got to the runway in a ...
user avatar
  • 19k
43 votes
Accepted

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

Yes, we can ask you to plan your landing roll in a certain way. We won't technically instruct you to brake the aircraft in a specific way, but simply to aim for a specific taxiway after landing. There ...
user avatar
43 votes

Is there any combination of two airports that are connected via taxiways?

I think Chitose and New Chitose on Japan's Hokkaido island fit the criteria. One is an air base (Chitose) with ICAO code RJCJ, while the other is the island's ...
user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

Why isn't airport relocation done gradually?

Moving airline by airline doesn't help that much: You still have the same chaos, just on a per-airline basis. The airports you mention are dominated by large carriers that have turned them into hubs ...
user avatar
  • 8,248
40 votes

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

That is a plane being used to train/practice landings. It is without passengers and one of the pilots is training. There will also be another pilot on board, possibly two, providing support and ...
user avatar
  • 31.6k
40 votes
Accepted

What is this gigantic dish at Ben Gurion airport?

It is just a design feature, and serves no technical purpose, beyond filtering some light and providing a waterfall feature. Safdie designed the roof of the rotunda as an inverted dome, an ...
user avatar
  • 25.8k
39 votes
Accepted

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

Good Spot! That was a temporary runway for the Red Bull Air Race: https://www.forgottenairfields.com/airfield-london-redbull-airstrip-1429.html You can see "RB" at the eastern end on your satellite ...
user avatar
  • 8,850
38 votes
Accepted

What are the steep ramps often erected at large airports?

Here in the United States these are called blast fences. They protect whatever may be behind them from the direct effects of jet blast by directing the blast upwards.
user avatar
  • 10.2k
38 votes

Why does Chicago O'Hare have a penalty box?

As described by FAA, it seems like it is for holding aircraft when gate is not available: The Penalty Box is located adjacent to the terminal perimeter Taxiway B, east of Concourse C. Arriving ...
user avatar
  • 7,968
38 votes
Accepted

Are private jets allowed to land at London Heathrow?

The answer appears to be "yes", but unless you're transferring directly from the private jet to/from an international flight in/out of Heathrow, it's a poor choice. Fees are high and delays are common....
user avatar
  • 2,927
37 votes
Accepted

What is the cable connected to a plane for?

This is a ground power unit (GPU) which supplies the aircraft with electricity while the generators or the auxiliary power unit (APU) are not running. This is important especially during boarding, ...
user avatar
  • 15.5k
37 votes
Accepted

What does RTF mean?

"RTF Instructions" probably means "Radiotelephone Instructions" As suggested here, it should not be confused (as I initially did) with the "RTF" of internet fame (from RTFM, for those that are still ...
user avatar
  • 31.6k
36 votes

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

That "road" is in fact a taxilane, and marked as such on the Paine Field side (note the yellow lead lines marked at the bottom of the image below, you would find on a taxiway). It connects the Boeing ...
user avatar
  • 67.3k
35 votes
Accepted

How is an aircraft aligned at a jet bridge?

How are aircraft aligned with these bridges They are not (but read on) Aircraft are aligned to a point on the concrete, not to the jetbridge(s). It is the jetbridge itself that carries out the ...
user avatar
35 votes

Why is aircraft marshalling still necessary?

There are automated systems that provide the same function as a marshal. They are in place at some airports but not all since upgrades cost money and not all airports may see a use for it. At ...
user avatar
  • 96.3k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible