What is an Airport ?
Airports run in many sizes from those with simply a grass runway, to sprawling complexes with huge numbers of Concrete runways, taxiways, terminals, etc. Many in fact are almost like small cities operating 24 hours a day 7 days a week, 365 days a year and service tens of thousands of people a day.
Although not too long ago air travel was rare, today it is an essential part of the worldwide commerce and transportation system. In addition, for some people living in remote areas (such as Alaska), air travel is their only link to civilization and needed supplies.
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport. An airport consists of at least one surface such as a runway for a plane to take off and land, a helipad, or water for takeoffs and landings, and often includes buildings such as control towers, hangars and terminal buildings.
Furthermore, each airport has a unique 3 character code, which is discussed airport codes and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airport_codes.
Larger airports may have fixed base operator services, seaplane docks and ramps, air traffic control, passenger facilities such as restaurants and lounges, and emergency services. A military airport is known as an airbase or air station.
A water airport is a water aerodrome (an area of open water used regularly by seaplanes or amphibious aircraft for landing and taking off), usually with passenger facilities on adjacent land, which acts as an airport.
The terms aerodrome, airfield, and airstrip may also be used to refer to airports, and the terms heliport, seaplane base, and STOLport refer to airports dedicated exclusively to helicopters, seaplanes, or short take-off and landing aircraft. In colloquial use, the terms airport and aerodrome are often interchanged. However, in general, the term airport may imply or confer a certain stature upon the aviation facility that an aerodrome may not have achieved. In some jurisdictions, airport is a legal term of art reserved exclusively for those aerodromes certified or licensed as airports by the relevant national aviation authority after meeting specified certification criteria or regulatory requirements. That is to say, all airports are aerodromes, but not all aerodromes are airports. In jurisdictions where there is no legal distinction between aerodrome and airport, which term to use in the name of an aerodrome may be a commercial decision.
Smaller or less-developed airports—which represent the vast majority—often have a single runway shorter than 1,000 m (3,300 ft). Larger airports for airline flights generally have paved runways 2,000 m (6,600 ft) or longer. Many small airports have dirt, grass, or gravel runways, rather than asphalt or concrete. In the United States, the minimum dimensions for dry, hard landing fields are defined by the FAR Landing And Takeoff Field Lengths. These include considerations for safety margins during landing and takeoff. Heavier aircraft require longer runways. The longest public-use runway in the world is at Qamdo Bangda Airport in China. It has a length of 5,500 m (18,045 ft). The world’s widest paved runway is at Ulyanovsk Vostochny Airport in Russia and is 105 m (344 ft) wide. As of 2009, the CIA stated that there were approximately 44,000 “… airports or airfields recognizable from the air” around the world, including 15,095 in the US, the US having the most in the world. Airport ownership and operation
Airport Live | Season 1 | Episode 1 |
In one of BBC Two’s most ambitious live broadcasts, Kate Humble, Dallas Campbell and Anita Rani go airside at Heathrow, the world’s busiest international hub…
The Berlin Brandenburg Airport is publicly financed by the states of Berlin and Brandenburg and the Federal Republic of Germany. Most of the world’s airports are owned by local, regional, or national government bodies who then lease the airport to private corporations who oversee the airport’s operation. For example, in the United Kingdom the state-owned British Airports Authority originally operated eight of the nation’s major commercial airports – it was subsequently privatized in the late 1980s, and following its takeover by the Spanish Ferrovial consortium in 2006, has been further divested and downsized to operating just five. Germany’s Frankfurt Airport is managed by the quasi-private firm Fraport. While in India GMR Group operates, through joint ventures, Indira Gandhi International Airport and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Bengaluru International Airport and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport are controlled by GVK Group. The rest of India’s airports are managed by the Airports Authority of India. In the United States commercial airports are generally operated directly by government entities or government-created airport authorities (also known as port authorities), such as the Los Angeles World Airports authority that oversees several airports in the Greater Los Angeles area, including Los Angeles International Airport. In Canada, the federal authority, Transport Canada, divested itself of all but the remotest airports in 1999/2000. Now most airports in Canada are owned and operated by individual legal authorities or are municipally owned. Many US airports still lease part or all of their facilities to outside firms, who operate functions such as retail management and parking. In the US, all commercial airport runways are certified by the FAA under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 14 Part 139, “Certification of Commercial Service Airports” but maintained by the local airport under the regulatory authority of the FAA. Despite the reluctance to privatize airports in the US (despite the FAA sponsoring a privatization program since 1996), the government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) arrangement is the standard for the operation of commercial airports in the rest of the world. Airport structures
Terminal structures at Sheremetyevo International Airport Airports are divided into landside and airside areas. Landside areas include parking lots, public transportation train stations and access roads. Airside areas include all areas accessible to aircraft, including runways, taxiways and ramps. Access from landside areas to airside areas is tightly controlled at most airports. Passengers on commercial flights access airside areas through terminals, where they can purchase tickets, clear security check, or claim luggage and board aircraft through gates. The waiting areas which provide passenger access to aircraft are typically called concourses, although this term is often used interchangeably with terminal.
The apron from the top floor observation room, Halifax International Airport, Canada The area where aircraft park next to a terminal to load passengers and baggage is known as a ramp (or “the tarmac”). Parking areas for aircraft away from terminals are called aprons. Airports can be towered or non-towered, depending on air traffic density and available funds. Due to their high capacity and busy airspace, many international airports have air traffic control located on site. Airports with international flights have customs and immigration facilities. However, as some countries have agreements that allow travel between them without customs and immigrations, such facilities are not a definitive need for an international airport. International flights often require a higher level of physical security, although in recent years, many countries have adopted the same level of security for international and domestic travel. Some airport structures include on-site hotels built within or attached to a terminal building. Airport hotels have grown popular due to their convenience for transient passengers and easy accessibility to the airport terminal. Many airport hotels also have agreements with airlines to provide overnight lodging for displaced passengers. “Floating airports” are being designed which could be located out at sea and which would use designs such as pneumatic stabilized platform technology.
Big Bigger Biggest Airport: Heathrow Airport
why not watch? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5w62jHUovM London’s Heathrow Airport is the world’s busiest and home to one of the tallest terminals – T5. NGC…