The Constructor

Components of an Airport

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There are various components of an airport which are structures. The planning and designing of these Airport components are carried out by civil and structural engineers.

Components of Airport

  1. Runway
  2. Taxiway
  3. Apron
  4. Terminal building
  5. Control tower
  6. Hanger
  7. Parking


Runway is a paved land strip on which landing and takeoff operations of aircrafts takes place. It is in leveled position without any obstructions on it. Special markings are made on the runway to differ it from the normal roadways. Similarly, after sunset, specially provided lightings are helped the aircrafts for safe landing. Many factors are considered for design of runway. The direction of runway should be in the direction of wind. Sometimes cross winds may happen, so, for safety considerations second runway should be laid normal to the main runway. The number of runways for an airport is depends upon the traffic. If the traffic is more than 30 movements per hour, then it is necessary to provide another runway. Runway can be laid using bitumen or concrete. Bitumen is economic but concrete runways have long span and requires less maintenance cost. The width of runway is dependent of maximum size of aircrafts utilizing it. The length of runway is decided from different considerations like elevation of land, temperature, take off height, gradients etc. There are different runway patterns are available and they are

Single Runway

Single runway is the most common form. It is enough for light traffic airports or for occasional usages. This runway is laid in the direction of wind in that particular area.

Two Runway

Two runway contains two runway which are laid in different directions by considering cross winds or wind conditions in that particular area. The runways may be laid in the form of L shape or T shape or X shape.

Hexagonal Runway

This is the modern pattern of system of runway laying. In which the takeoff and landing movements of aircrafts can be permitted at any given time without any interference. This is most suitable for heavy traffic airports or busiest airports.

45 Degree Runway

45 degree run way is opted when the wind coverage for same airfield capacity is greater. This is also termed as four-way runway.

60 Degree Runway

When the wind in that area is prevailing in many directions, so, it is difficult to decide the direction in which runway is to be laid. In that case, 60-degree runway is opted which looks like triangular arrangement of runways.

60 Degree Parallel Runway

It is the extension of 60-degree runway, which is opted when the wind coverage is greater in other two directions then it is obvious that the third runway is to be chosen. But if the air traffic is more, then it is difficult to control the operations. Hence, another runway is required parallel to the using one. For that purpose, 60-degree parallel runway is suitable.


Taxiway is path which connects each end of the runway with terminal area, apron, hanger etc. These are laid with asphalt or concrete like runways. In modern airports, taxiways are laid at an angle of 30 degree to the runway so that aircrafts can use it to change from one runway to other easily. The turning radius at taxiway and runway meets should be more than 1.5 times of width of taxiway.


Apron is a place which is used as parking place for aircrafts. It is also used for loading and unloading of aircrafts. Apron is generally paved and is located in front of terminal building or adjacent to hangers. The size of area to be allotted for apron and design of apron is generally governed by the number of aircrafts expected in the airport. The aircraft characteristics also considered while design. Proper drainage facilities should be provided with suitable slope of pavement. Sufficient clearances must be provided for aircrafts to bypass each other.

Terminal Building

Terminal building is a place where airport administration facilities takes place. In this building, pre-journey and post journey checking’s of passengers takes place. Lounges, cafes etc. are provided for the passengers. Passengers can directly enter the plane from terminal buildings through sky bridge, walkways etc. Similarly, the passengers from plane also directly enter into the terminal building.

Control Tower

The control tower is a place where aircrafts under a particular zone is controlled whether they are in land or in air. The observation is done by the controller through radars and information is carried through radio. The controller from the control tower observes all the aircrafts with in that zone and informs pilots about their airport traffic, landing routes, visibility, wind speeds, runway details, etc. based on which the pilot decides and attempts safe landing. So, control tower is like nerve system of an airport.


Hanger is a place where repairing and servicing of aircrafts is done. Taxiway connects the hanger with runway so, when a repair needed for an aircraft it can be moved to hanger easily. It is constructed in the form of large shed using steel trusses and frames. Large area should be provided for Hanger for comfortable movement of aircrafts.


This is a place provided for parking the vehicles of airport staff or passengers which is outside the terminal building or sometimes under the ground of terminal building.
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