Runways and Taxiways Airplane Runways and Taxiways Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Runways and Taxiways

Airplane runways and taxiways are perhaps the most integral part for the proper use of airplanes as the condition of the runways and taxiways directly impacts the performance of the airplanes (Ashford et al., 1997). The aim of this paper is to consider all factors involved in the appropriate planning for runways and taxiways of an airport that is primarily designed to handle the largest aircraft types in operation operated on long haul routes.

Structure of the paper

The paper will begin with a brief introduction of the runways and taxiways as they are used today followed by a discussion of the appropriate runways/taxiways capacity and configuration necessary for an airport that is primarily designed to handle the largest aircraft types in operation operated on long haul routes. The paper will also focus on the necessary pricing strategies that will be required for the airport in accordance to the current market trends and aviation standards.


Air travel is still rated to be the safest way to travel and with the increasing demand of a faster and busier lifestyle, air travel is by far the most preferred method of commute (Ashford et al., 1997). The initial use of runways was mainly restricted to use of large, open and straight fields; now, however the use of runways is far more intricate and multi-purpose than ever before (Ashgate et al., 2000). Usually airports are now built in ways that all of them technically qualify as the visual airplane runways with minimal instructions from the tower. On the other hand, there are certain airports build in heavily constructed areas that use the instrument airplane runway method which incorporates receiving regular and accurate signals from the tower during landing and take-off to ensure safety (Chavis, 2010). When designing a runway for an airport that is designed for larger aircrafts, however, location will have to be fore-thought. This decision on the location will be extremely important as it will determine the options for the runways design and configuration i.e. A lowly populated area will need to be chosen not too far from the main city to ensure that the construction of a visual parallel structure of runways is possible (Chavis, 2010). The important aspect of the visual runway is the use of lighting as the source of guide for pilots during the landing and take-off (this will be discussed in detail).

Similarly, In the case of taxiways, the exact type of taxiway required will be based on the location and the runways configuration. Usually the taxiway is positioned at the centre of the runway with parking taxiways on either side. For this particular airport designed for larger aircrafts, we will also use the rapid exit taxiways in combination with the basic taxiways to ensure smooth clearance of runways during heavy traffic hours (De Neufville and Odoni, 2003; Fuller and Hayley, 2004).


For this particular airport design, the surfaces of the runway will be made using a balanced combination of concrete, asphalt and water. The length of the runways will be between 6,000 to 10,000 feet so that the capacity that it can hold could be over a 100,000 kg when required. The use of the regular markings of runways like threshold, centreline, touchdown zone, aiming point, etc. will be there as well. The building material for the taxiways will also be concrete and asphalt. The lighting will be very important for the construction of taxiways, hence, all lighting used (coloured yellow or blue) will be placed at a distance of 75 feet from each other and the regular marking on taxiways like centreline, taxiway edge, critical area holding position will all be utilized (FAA, 2008). Another aspect that plays a huge part in the designing of modern airports is the environmental concern. The construction of this airport will, hence, be no different and appropriate attention will be given to using the equipment and surface material that cause the least amount of environmental damage. Hence, the use of pure concrete will be replaced with using a mix of concrete with environmental friendly materials like fly ash and slag to ensure least damage to the environment (FAA, 2008; 1999).

All recent studies have shown that another integral part of airport design is the use of appropriate pricing strategies as well. An FAA study conducted back in 1999 affirms that "Numerous empirical studies of airline pricing practices since deregulation have concluded that average airfares in concentrated markets are higher, often considerably higher, than they are in competitive markets. High fares can have adverse consequences for local economic development and employment, as state and local officials have come to appreciate. However, when new low-fare entry occurs in a market, average fares decline, and do so often dramatically. Of course, high fares are not limited to travellers enplaning only at large, concentrated hub airports. Travellers based in smaller cities -- the 'spoke' in a large carrier's route network -- may also pay high fares. New entrant air carriers often operate in short to medium-haul markets with significant passenger volumes, the markets where airfares are often high. In order to bring the benefits of price competition to these markets, new entrants need reasonable access to airport gates, facilities, and services" (FAA, 1999). This above confirmation of pricing strategies is fairly important when designing a new airport for heavier aircrafts because it gives us an indication of how the pricing strategies should be structured and who should be the primary funding channels. Keeping this in mind, the following aspects will be taken into account for the planning of this new airport:

employing the best financers in the business to ensure that the tickets are priced directly proportional to the target audience that the aircrafts are serving as well as the services that they provide in terms of aerial or ground facilities (Radnoti, 2002)

make sure all contractual agreements are thought-through and all of the applications are followed up with efficacy and in a timely manner (Gordon, 2008)

make sure that all pricing strategies are based on and around the environmental and economy where the airport is located (Gordon, 2008)

make sure that the airport management can arrange sublease contracts for the major airlines (Gordon, 2008)

appropriate and timely gate reassignments are made in order to avoid heavier traffic flows to ensure that all currents tenants and lease-holders are satisfied with performance -- this will ensure that the not only continue on with the airport but also look to expand its lease agreements to a more profitable package for the airport (HSE6630, 2010; ICAO, 2006 and 2009)

offer priority leases and package deals to tenants (Holloway, 2002)

allow the new tenants to enjoy certain levels of freedom with the facilities and services provided to them (ICAO, 2005; 2006 and 2009)

Runway Capacity

The capacity of a runway can be defined as the ratio provided as the reciprocal of the overall weight average that the runways endure over a number of times within a specified period of time. The runways capacity does not incorporate the delay or demand of the runway and hence simply measure the overall movement of airplanes during heavy traffic hours. It will be important for the particular airport being built that the runways capacity is one that balances the traffic on not just the main runways but also the parallel runways available during heavy traffic hours (ICAO, 2005; 2006 and 2009). The runways capacity will also need to balance the performance of the apron and taxiways alongside the inbound and outbound traffic flow. The overall capacity will need to be cost-effective in the long run.

(Can you put a reference for this graph if so and also explain this graph, what's does this mean etc. I made this myself based on the measurements given in the initial paragragh of runway of length and capacity

Explanation: the above graph shows the overall runway capacity potential with the expected delay of change of speed. The first stage of the curve shows the expected aircraft weight capacity that the runway will be able to accommodate without the delay. The secod section of the curve shows the overall capacity adjustment that the runway will allow if there is a delayed response from the aircraft or if the weight capacity is increased. The ultimate capacity shows the overall potential for flexibility of capacity that the runways can allow based on aircraft weight difference and overall expected delay. The ultimate capacity ends where the overall demand of the runway ends i.e. The runways are based on the demand of the aircrafts that are leased to use them; hence the ultimate capacity of runway ends where the demand is met. The graph also signifies the planning of the runway to be such that the delayed response and weight difference capacity are all covered within the diameters of the demand of the aircrafts as opposed to beyond it. This shows that there is till room for increased runway capacity in the future if the…

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