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AERODROME TRAINING COURSE
Module 3 Aerodrome Physical Characteristics
LEARNING OUTCOME
Participants will gain an overview of the required
physical characteristics for aerodromes including:
 Application aerodrome reference code
 Runways
 Taxiways
 Aprons
With the access to reference documents they will be
able to determine the physical characteristics
required for specific aircraft types.
AERODROME REFERENCE CODE
Provides a simple method for interrelating the numerous
specifications concerning the characteristics of aerodromes to
ensure they are suitable for aeroplanes that are intended to
operate at the aerodrome.
Consists of 2 elements
 Code number element 1 corresponding to aeroplane
reference field length
(Definition -Aeroplane reference field length. The minimum field length
required for take-off at maximum certificated take-off mass, sea level,
standard atmospheric conditions, still air and zero runway slope, as
shown in the appropriate aeroplane flight manual prescribed by the
certificating authority or equivalent data from the aeroplane
manufacturer. Field length means balanced field length for aeroplanes, if
applicable, or take-off distance in other cases.)
 Code Letter element 2 corresponds to the wing span or the
outer main gear wheel span, whichever is more demanding
AERODROME REFERENCE CODE
RUNWAYS
Location and Orientation
 Type of intended operation (non-instrument or
instrument)
 Need to ensure that the required take-off and
approach obstacle limitation surfaces are not
infringed
 Environmental impact – minimize noise on
residential areas
 Prevailing winds – 20kts max x-wind component
for runways 1500m and over
 Usability factor of the aerodrome to be not less
than 95% for aeroplanes that the aerodrome is
intended to serve
RUNWAYS
Length - Adequate to meet operational requirements of
the aeroplanes for which the runway is intended
Width -
RUNWAYS – PARALLEL OPERATIONS
Minimum Separation Distance
 Non-instrument – 210m Code 3 & 4, 150m Code 2, 120m
code 1


Instrument – 1035m independent parallel approaches
915m dependent parallel approaches
760m independent parallel departures
760m segregated parallel operations
PANS OPS and PANS ATM additional Requirements
1035m-1310m SSR 2.5sec update 0.06° accuracy
1310m-1525m SSR 5sec update 0.3° accuracy
1525m≤ radar (PRIM or SSR) 5 sec/3°
RUNWAY SLOPES - LONGITUDINAL


The slope computed by dividing the difference between
the maximum and minimum elevation along the runway
centre line by the runway length should not exceed:
— 1 per cent where the code number is 3 or 4; and
— 2 per cent where the code number is 1 or 2.
Along no portion of a runway should the longitudinal
slope exceed:
— 1.25 per cent where the code number is 4, except that
for the first and last quarter of the length of the runway
the longitudinal slope should not exceed 0.8 per cent;
— 1.5 per cent where the code number is 3, except that
for the first and last quarter of the length of a precision
approach runway category II or III the longitudinal
slope should not exceed 0.8 per cent; and
— 2 per cent where the code number is 1 or 2.
RUNWAYS – SIGHT DISTANCES

Where slope changes cannot be avoided, they should be
such that there will be an unobstructed line of sight
from:
— any point 3 m above a runway to all other points 3
m above the runway within a distance of at least half
the length of the runway where the code letter is C, D,
E or F;
— any point 2 m above a runway to all other points 2
m above the runway within a distance of at least half
the length of the runway where the code letter is B;
and
— any point 1.5 m above a runway to all other points
1.5 m above the runway within a distance of at least
half the length of the runway where the code letter is
A.
RUNWAYS SLOPES - TRANSVERSE



To promote the most rapid drainage of water, the runway
surface should, if practicable, be cambered except where a
single crossfall from high to low in the direction of the
wind most frequently associated with rain would ensure
rapid drainage. The transverse slope should ideally be:
— 1.5 per cent where the code letter is C, D, E or F; and
— 2 per cent where the code letter is A or B;
but in any event should not exceed 1.5 per cent or 2 per
cent, as applicable, nor be less than 1 per cent except at
runway or taxiway intersections where flatter slopes may
be necessary.
For a cambered surface the transverse slope on each side
of the centre line should be symmetrical
RUNWAYS - SURFACE
Design objectives
 Constructed without irregularities that would
adversely affect take-off or landings or loss of friction
 Constructed to provide good friction characteristics
when runway is wet
 Surface texture depth should not be less than 1.0mm
Maintenance objectives
 Kept clear of loose objects (FOD)
 Prevent formation of harmful irregularities
 Friction testing and corrective action to remain above
minimum friction level
RUNWAY – PAVEMENT TYPES
Flexible
Rigid
RUNWAY/PAVEMENT STRENGTH




•
•
•
•
ACN- Aircraft Classification Number (Number expressing the
relative effect of an aircraft on a pavement for a specified
standard subgrade strength)
PCN – Pavement Classification Number (Number expressing
the bearing strength of a pavement for unrestricted operations)
ACN/PCN meant as means for publishing pavement strength in
AIP it is not a design or an evaluation tool
Requires reporting of
Pavement type R or F
Subgrade category
Maximum tyre pressure
Pavement evaluation method
ACN - PCN
RUNWAYS - SHOULDERS




Provided – when code is D or E and runway width
less than 60m when code is F
Width – extend symmetrically each side so that
overall width of runway and shoulders is – 60m Code
D or E; 75m code F
Slope – flush with surface it abuts and not to exceed
2.5% transverse
Strength – capable of supporting aeroplane without
inducing structural damage and supporting ground
vehicles
RUNWAYS TURN PADS
Required for code D, E, F where end of runway
not served by taxiway to facilitate 180° turns.
 May be located on either side but left preferable
 Intersection angle with runway should not exceed
30°

RUNWAY STRIPS

A defined area including the runway and stopway, if provided, intended:
a)
To reduce the risk of damage to aircraft running off the runway
b)
To protect aircraft flying over it during take-off or landing operations

Graded portion in event of an aeroplane running off the runway
Width graded portion – extend 75m either side centreline Code 3, 4
- extend 40m either side centreline Code 1, 2
Surface graded portion - flush with runway or shoulder
- longitudinal slope 1.5% code 4, 1.75% code 3
- transverse slope 2.5% code 3,4 (5% 1st 3m drainage)
- strength to minimize hazards in event aircraft running
off runway

Objects – shall satisfy the relevant frangibility requirement in chapter
5 Annex 14 volume 1.
RUNWAY STRIPS


Length - Strip shall extend before the threshold and
beyond the end of the runway or stopway for a distance
60m code 2,3,4,
Width –
-Instrument Code 3 & 4 = 150m (either side
centreline)
- Instrument Code 1, 2 = 75m
- Non-instrument Code 3 & 4 =75m
- Non-instrument code 2 = 40m
- Non-instrument code 1 = 30m
RUNWAY END SAFETY AREAS





Length – Shall extend 90m from end of runway strip
- Should extend as far as practicable and at least 240m
Width – At least twice that of the runway
- Should wherever practicable be equal to graded portion
Slopes – Longitudinal below OLS & max 5% downward
- Transverse 5%
Surface – clear graded,
Strength – reduce the risk of damage to aircraft and
facilitate movement RFFS vehicles
CLEARWAYS


Only need to be provided where operating
advantage is required by aircraft using
unbalanced performance –TODA greater than
TORA
Length – Should not exceed half the length of
TORA

Width – 75m either side of centreline

Slope – not to exceed 1.25% upwards
STOPWAYS

Only need to be provided where operating advantage
is required by aircraft using unbalanced performance
–ASDA greater than TORA

Width – Same width as runway

Slopes – Same as for runway


Strength – supporting aircraft without inducing
structural damage to the aircraft
Surface – Coefficient of friction to be compatible with
runway
TAXIWAYS
Design to ensure critical aeroplane when remaining over centreline
markings that the following outer main wheel clearances achieved
Code
Clearance
A
B
C
D
E
F
1.5m
2.25m
3m*
4.5m
4.5m
4.5m
TAXIWAYS - FILLETS
TAXIWAYS - WIDTH
Code
A
B
C
D
E
F
Width
7.5m
10.5m
15m*
18m**
23m
25m
*18m if wheel base greater than 18m
**23 if outer main gear wheel span greater than 9m
Curves/Intersections
Need to implement fillets based on critical aircraft
TAXIWAYS – SEPARATION DISTANCES
TAXIWAYS – RAPID EXIT



Turn-off curve radius – Code 3 & 4 550m (exit speed
93kph/50kts) Code 1 & 2 275m (exit speed 65kph/35kts)
Intersection angle – optimum 30°, max 45°, min 25°
Straight distance – sufficient for aircraft to come to full stop
clear intersecting taxiway
TAXIWAYS
SLOPES
Longitudinal – 1.5% code C, D, E, F; 3% code A, B.
Sight Distance – code C, D, E, F 3m above taxiway see whole
surface for distance of at least 300m
Transverse – 1.5% code C, D, E, F; 2% code A, B
Shoulders
Should be provided each side for code C to F so overall width taxiway
and shoulders
Code
C
D
E
F
Width
25m
38m
44m
60m
TAXIWAYS - STRIPS
Width – Extend symmetrically each side to achieve minimum
distance from centreline as per table 3-1 column 11
Code
A
B
C
D
E
F
Semi-width
16.5m
21.5m
26m
40.5m
47.5m
57.5m
Graded Portion – Extend symmetrically each as below
Code
A
B
C
D
E
F
Semi-width
11m
12.5m
12.5m
19m
22m
30m
RUNWAY HOLDING POSITIONS
APRONS
Slopes – maximum 1% on aircraft stands
Clearances – between aircraft using stand and other aircraft
building object or other aircraft
Code
A
B
C
D
E
F
Clearance
3m
3m
4.5m
7.5m*
7.5m*
7.5m*
*May be reduced in special circumstances between terminal and nose
of aircraft and over any portion of stand provided with visual docking
guidance system
ISOLATED PARKING POSITION
An isolated aircraft parking position shall be
designated or the aerodrome control tower shall be
advised of an area or areas suitable for the parking
of an aircraft which is known or believed to be the
subject of unlawful interference, or which for other
reasons needs isolation from normal aerodrome
activities.
 The isolated aircraft parking position should be
located at the maximum distance practicable and in
any case never less than 100 m from other parking
positions, buildings or public areas, etc. Care should
be taken to ensure that the position is not located
over underground utilities such as gas and aviation
fuel and, to the extent feasible, electrical or
communication cables.

PRACTICAL EXERCISE
1.
2.
3.
4.
The minimum runway width for a Code 4C
runway is?
The distance that a runway strip should extend
beyond the end of a Code 2 runway is
A minimum length RESA for a Code 4 runway
strip shall extend to at least (a) 90m, (b) 150m
(c) 240m past the end of the runway?
Calculate the minimum distances between
taxiway centrelines for a Taxiway handling
Code D aircraft an a taxiway handling only
Code A and B aircraft.

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