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. ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.7k
82 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 ...
Anilv's user avatar
  • 4,566
71 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. ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 9,308
67 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 ...
ratchet freak's user avatar
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 ...
Gerry's user avatar
  • 19.8k
53 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 ...
60levelchange's user avatar
49 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 ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.7k
47 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 ...
Jonathan Kuhl's 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 ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 55.9k
45 votes

Why are there 6 airports that straddle the Canada–US border?

There's no way to answer this as well as Half As Interesting did on youtube: If you don't want to watch it, TLDR, the US had the Neutrality Act(s) and couldn't send ...
300D7309EF17's user avatar
  • 2,215
44 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 ...
Zach Lipton's user avatar
  • 8,286
44 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 ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
  • 83.4k
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 ...
60levelchange's 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 ...
ProgrammingLlama's user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

Is it suspicious or odd to stand by the gate of a GA airport watching the planes?

I mainly fly in the UK and Europe, however I trained in the US and have flown there a few times since. I have probably 50 hours in total in the US. I can tell you that almost without fail, every ...
Jamiec's user avatar
  • 33k
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 ...
Jamiec's user avatar
  • 33k
39 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 ...
Federico's user avatar
  • 32.6k
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 ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 9,308
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....
Jerry Coffin's user avatar
  • 3,177
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 ...
Federico's user avatar
  • 32.6k
35 votes

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

The airports in Berlin share runways. Strictly speaking, one of them (BER) isn't really operational... But it will be. Soon. For sure... Hey, look over there: a monkey with two heads!! google maps
steloe's user avatar
  • 753
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 ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
35 votes

Why isn't airport relocation done gradually?

Gradually moving between airports is a living nightmare for connecting travelers. Exactly that was done at Montreal Mirabel airport, a fabulous, spacious new replacement airport for Montreal Dorval (...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
35 votes

How do pilots travel from remote private airports after landing?

You do whatever you can. Sometimes you call a taxi/Uber, sometimes you walk, sometimes you pack a small folding bicycle into your plane, and sometimes you borrow the airport car. Many small airports ...
Dan Pichelman's user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

Does a portable ILS ground station exist?

NASA did some research on it in 1986 and published this paper. Thales was contracted to build one that the US Army has ordered and it made it to prototype phase. Eventually it was tested for a while ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
34 votes
Accepted

How can pilots differentiate runways and taxiways during landing?

During daytime and good visibility, it should be pretty obvious that runway markings are white and taxiway markings are yellow. Runways have the runway designator in big white numbers at the end and a ...
60levelchange's user avatar
33 votes

Is it suspicious or odd to stand by the gate of a GA airport watching the planes?

It depends on how you go about it. Don't wear all black or camo with a face mask. Don't sneak around in the grass, or run from building to building seeking cover. Plane spotting is a somewhat common ...
Rob McDonald's user avatar
  • 11.5k
32 votes
Accepted

How do Rapid Exit Taxiways improve aircraft movements?

See this related question. Rapid exit taxiways (or high speed exits) enable aircraft to leave the runway at speeds up to 50 or 60 kts depending on the runway and aircraft type (50 kts even in wet ...
Simon's user avatar
  • 31.2k

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