Airport configuration means number and orientation of runways and location of terminal area relative to runways.
Terminal area is located relative to runways with a view to : -
a.Provide easy and timely access to runways.
b.Provide shortest taxiing distance from terminal area to takeoff ends of runway.
c.Provide shorter taxiing distance for landing aircraft as much as possible.
•It is number and orientation of runways.
•Number of runways depends upon volume of traffic and orientation on prevailing wind pattern, kind use, size/ shape of the area and air space restrictions.
•ICAO recommends that the "usability factor of an aerodrome is not less than 95% for the aero planes that the aerodrome is intended to serve"
Should be arranged so as to: -
a. Adequate separation in air traffic pattern.
b. Cause least interference and delays in operations,
c. Provide shortest taxing distance from terminal area to runway ends.
Runway Location Considerations
The following factors should be considered in locating and orienting a runway:
• Airspace availability
• Environmental factors (noise, air and water quality)
• Obstructions to navigation
• Air traffic control visibility
• Wildlife hazards
Runway Orientation and Winds
The orientation of the runway is an important consideration in airport planning and design
• The goal of this exercise is to define the runway orientation that maximizes the possible use of the runway throughout the year accounting for a wide variety of wind conditions
• FAA and ICAO regulations establish rules about runway orientation and their expected coverage
• Ideally, all aircraft operations on a runway should be conducted against the wind
• Unfortunately, wind conditions vary from hour to hour thus requiring a careful examination of prevailing wind conditions at the airport site.
•Provide access from runways to terminal area and service hangers.
•Exit Taxiways (turnoffs) are used by landing aircrafts and
•Entrance Taxiways by the aircrafts which are due to takeoff.
•Salient points are: -
a. Taxiways should be so arranged that landing aircrafts do not interfere with takeoffs.
b. One-way parallel taxiways should be provided when movement is expected in both directions.
c. Shortest possible route from terminal area to takeoff end of the runway should be selected.
d. Whenever possible taxiways to be routed to avoid crossing of runways.
e. Exit taxiways should be located at various points along runways to enable landing aircraft to clear runways for other operation.
f. To increase capacity, high-speed exits (less than 90°) should be provided.
•Also known as run up/warm up pads.
•Necessary at near runway end for final checks prior to takeoff for piston engine aircrafts and wait fortakeoff clearance for all aircrafts.
•Some time a bypass taxiway is provided. Size depends upon the volume of traffic.
a. Small aprons, at convenient location for temporary storage of aircrafts waiting for a gate.
b. ATC is responsible for directing to holding bays,
c. Not required once capacity matches the demand.
d. Good measure to cater for future saturation capacity conditions.