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AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

AIR CRAFT CHARACTERISTICS


Following are the characteristics of conventional type aircraft:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
(8)
(9)
(10)
(11)
(12)
(13)

Aircraft capacity
Aircraft speed
Aircraft weight and wheel arrangement
Fuel spilling
Jet blast
Minimum circling radius
Minimum turning radius
Noise
Range
Size of aircraft
Take off and landing distances
Type of propulsion
Type pressure and contact area.

Each of the above characteristic of an aircraft will now be briefly described.


(1) Aircraft Capacity:
The capacity of aircraft will determine the number of passengers, baggage, cargo and fuel
that can be accommodated in the aircraft. The terminal facilities are planned to receive the
aircraft of the highest capacity likely to land.
(2) Aircraft speed:
The aircraft speed is referred in many ways. But the difference between the following two
terms is worth noting.
(i)
(ii)

air speed; and


ground speed

The term air speed is used to mean the speed of the aircraft relative to the medium in which it
is traveling. The ground speed which is sometimes also referred to the aircraft relative to the
ground. Suppose an aircraft is flying at a ground speed of 5.00 km p.h. in air having wind
velocity of 50 km p.h. in the opposite direction. Then, (500-50) = 450 km p.h. will be the air
speed.
On the other hand, if the wind is bowing in the same direction, the speed will be (500-50)
=550km p.h. Thus the air speed indicates the speed that the aircraft wing or airfoil
encounters.
There is a slight difference of about 2 percent between the true air speed and the indicated air
speed. The pilot obtains the speed from an air speed indicator which is a highly sensitive

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

instrument with respect to the density of a at different altitudes. Thus, the indicated speed is
found slightly less than the true air speed.
With the introduction of jet aircrafts and other high-speed aircrafts, the reference datum for
speed is often the speed of sound. After the great Austrian scientist Ernst mach, the speed of
sound is defined as mach 1 and hence, mach 2 means double the speed of sound. Most of the
present jet aircrafts are subsonic i.e. slower that the speed of sound and they have true air
speed of about 0.8 to 0.9 mach. Many military aircrafts are supersonic i.e. faster that the
speed of sound.
(3) Aircraft weight and wheel arrangement:
In is necessary to understand the components of aircraft which make up its weight
during take offs and landings because weight is one of the major factor\s which will govern
the length and thickness of a runway. The wheel arrangements of configurations also play a
similar role and the aircraft wheel arrangements have already been explained in flg. 1-3.
Following terms are used for different weights in the airline operation:
(i) Maximum gross take off weight:
It is the maximum load which the aircraft is certified to carry during
take off and the airport pavements are designed for thi9s load.
(ii)

Maximum structural landing weight:

It is the difference between the gross take off weight and the weight of fuel concerned during
the trip. The main gear of an aircraft is designed to support the maximum structural weight
because such situation rarely occurs. For instance, if an aircraft starts trouble immediately
after take off, the pilot has to carefully return the aircraft to the airport and it should be so
manipulated that the maximum landing weight is not exceeded.
(iii)

Operating empty weight:

The weight of and aircraft including crew and all the necessary gear required for flight is
known as the operating empty weight and it does not include pay load and fuel. For a
passenger aircraft, the operating empty weight will not be constant. But it will depend on the
seating arrangement.
( iv) Pay load:
The term pay load is used to mean the total revenue-producing load and it includes the weight
of passengers and their baggage, mail and cargo.
(v) Zero fuel weight:
It is the weight above which all additional weight must be fuel so that when the aircraft is in
flight, the bending moments at the junction of the win g and fuselage do not become
excessive.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

The aircraft weight is thus composed of the operating empty weight and three variables of
pay load, trip fuel and fuel reserve. The weight of an aircraft on landing is composed of the
operating empty weight, the pay load and the fuel reserve, assuming that the air craft lands at
its destination and is not diverted to an alternate airport. This landing weight of the aircraft.
The take off weight is the sum of the landing weight plus the trip fuel and it should not
exceed the maximum gross take off weight of the aircraft.
Table 1-2 shows the approximate estimate of the distribution of the components of aircraft
weight. It may be noted that as the range of aircraft weight. It may be noted that as the range
of aircraft increases, the percentage op pay load decreases and that of trip fuel increases.
TABLE 1-2
DISTRIBUTION OF AIRCRAFT WEIGHT
ITEM

AIRCRAFT TYPE
SHORT RANGE

MEDIUM RANGE

LONG RANGE

Operating empty weight

66

59

44

Pay load

24

16

10

Trip fuel

21

40

Fuel reserve

Total

100

100

100

The fuel requirement of any aircraft can be divided into two categories, namely, trip fuel and
fuel reserve. The fuel for trip will depend on various factors such as pay load, altitude of
travel, speed of aircraft, distance to be traveled, atmospheric conditions,etc. The reserve fuel
will depend on trip length traffic condition, location of alternate airport in the event
emergency landing, etc.
(4)Fuel spilling:
The spilling of fuel and lubricants is usually found in the loading aprons and hangars.
It is difficult to avoid spilling completely, but efforts are made to bring it within minimum
limit. The pavement of bituminous materials is seriously affected by the fuel spilling and
hence, the areas of bituminous pavement below the fueling inlets, the engines and the main
landing gears are kept under constant watch by the airport authorities.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

(5) Jet blast:


The turbo jet and turb9o prop aircrafts eject hot exhaust gases at relatively high velocities.
The velocity of jet blast may be as high as 3.00 km p.h. and it may even cause inconvenience
to the passengers boarding the aircraft. For this purpose, several types of blast fences are
available to serve as an effective measure for diverting the smoke ejected by the engine.
The deteriorating effect of the bituminous pavement by the commercial aircrafts is practically
negligible because of the following two facts:
(a) Most of the civil jets have the tail pipes inclined at an angle of about 20 relative to the
pavement surface.
(b) The height of the engine above the pavement surface is about 150 cm.
It is desirable to provide cement concrete pavement to resist the effect of jet blast in
preference to the bi8tuminous pavement. The effect of jet blast should also be studied for
determining the size, position and location of gates.
(6) Minimum circling radius:
A certain minimum radius in space is required for the aircraft to take smooth turn. It is
known as the minimum circling radius and it depends upon the type of aircraft, air traffic
volume and weather conditions.
The knowledge of minimum circling radius helps in separating two nearby airports by
an adequate distance so that the aircrafts landing simultaneously on them do not interfere
with each other. If it is not possible to provide such distance, the timings of landing and take
off of aircrafts in each airport will have to be suitably adjusted; this aspect will reduce the
capacity of each airport.
Table 1-3 given below shows the minimum circle radii for different types of the aircrafts.
Sl.No.

Type of aircraft

Minimum circle
radius in km.

Small general aviation aircrafts under VFR (visual flight rules)


conditions

1.60

Bigger aircrafts say two piston engine under VFR conditions

3.20

Piston engine aircrafts under IFR (instrument flight rules)


conditions
3

B.G.Rahul

Jet engine aircrafts under IFR conditions.

13

80

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

(7) Minimum turning radius:


It is necessary to know the minimum turning radius of an aircraft to decide the radius of
taxiways and to ascertain its position in the landing aprons and hangars. in the text book of
Airport engineering by Khanna. 1-6 shows the method of determining the minimum turning
radius. The procedure adopted is as follows.
(i)

(ii)
(iii)
(iv)

The line through the axis of nose gear when it is at its maximum angle of
rotation is drawn. The maximum angel of rotation is specified by the
manufacturers and for a large turbo jet, it is between 50 0 to 600.
Another line through the axis of the two main gears is then drawn.
The intersection of the above two lines forms the centre of rotation.
The line joining the centre of rotation with the tip of the farther wing of the
aircraft is known as the minimum turning radius. The paths of nose gear
and main gear can also be drawn.

(8) Noise:
The most serious problem facing aviation is the noise and efforts are made to bring it to the
minimum possible level. The major sou8rces of noise in an engine are the machinery noise
and the primary jet. During take off, the dominant source of noise is the primary jet and
during approach or landing, the dominant source is the machinery noise. The disturbance
caused during take off is more severe than caused during landing.
The noise is measure by an instrument known as a sound-level meter and it indicates the total
amount of sound present at any location. It is described as the overall sound pressure level
ion decibels (dB).
For complex noises such as those produced by the aircrafts, the overall sound pressure level
provides an inadequate physical description and the two noises can have the same overall
sound pressure level and yet, they may be judged differently subjectively. It has led to the
development of the perceived noise level intensity (PNdB). It is a quantity that is calculated
form measured noise levels and adjusted by weighing more heavily those frequencies which
are more annoying and disturbing to the distance.
The effective perceived noise level (EPNdB) is a further refinement of the PNdB. The
EPNdB is the PNdB corrected for the duration of sound and adjusted for the presence of pure
tones. The EPNdB is used for the certification of aircraft and for the calculation of noise
exposure forecasts (NEF).
The modern technology has made it possible:
(i)
To dramatically increase thrust without significantly increasing noise levels; and
(ii)
To substantially reduce noise for a given amount of thrust.
The prospects of producing reasonably quieter engines in future are promising. The
reduction in field length is also found to be the most effective way of minimizing the
impact of aircraft noise.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

(9) Range:
The distance that an aircraft can fly without refueling is known as the range. There are a
number of factors which influence the range of an aircraft, the most important one being the
pay load. Usually, as the range is decreased, the pay load is increased and vice versa. The
relationship between pay load and ranger is also affected. By factors such as meteorological
conditions during flight, speed, fuel wind, flight altitude and amount of reserve fuel.
(10) Size of aircraft:
definition of the principal dimensions of an aircraft. They are as follows:
(i)

Fuselage: The length of aircraft decides the widening of taxiway on curves, size of
aprons and hangars.
Gear tread: It is the distance between the main gears and it governs the minimum
turning radius of the aircraft.
Height: It decides the height of the hangar gate and other miscellaneous
installations inside the hangar.
Tail width: It helps in deciding the size of the parking and apron.
Wheel base: It decides the minimum radius of the taxiway.
Wing span: It governs the width of taxiway, clearance distance between two
parallel traffic ways, size of aprons and hangars, width of hangar gate, etc.

(ii)
(iii)
(iv)
(v)
(vi)

(11)

Take off and landing distances:

The take off and landing distances for an aircraft will help in determining the minimum
runway length required for a particular type for a particular type of aircraft. These distances
depend on the following factors.
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)
(v)
(vi)

Altitude of the airport;


Gradient of the runway;
Intensity and direction of the wind;
Manner of landing and take off;
Temperature;
Weight of the aircraft at the time of landing and take off.

(12) Type of propulsion:


The types of engines used in an aircraft have already been discussed earlier. The method of
propulsion adopted for a particular aircraft will decide the size, speed, weight carrying
capacity, noise nuisance, circling.
(13) Type pressure and contact area:
The type pressure and the wheel load will give an indication of the width, type and strength
of pavement required for the different types of aircraft.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

AIRPORT SITE SELECTION


The selection of site for a new airport has to be based on certain criteria which will
serve as a guide for the determination of its proper location and size. The same considerations
will also be applicable in the case of expansion of the existing airports. Necessary data and
details are studied from various airport surveys before the matter of site selection is
considered.
Following are the factors which influence the location of an airport:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
(8)
(9)
(10)
(11)
(12)

Atmospheric and meteorological conditions


Availability of land for expansion
Availability of utilities
Development of the surrounding area
Economy of construction
Ground accessibility
Presence of other airports
Regional plan
Soil characteristics
Surrounding obstructions
Topography
Use of airport

Each of the above factors affecting the selection of site for an airport will now be briefly
discussed.
(1)

Atmospheric and meteorological conditions:

The presence of fog, haze and smoke reduces the visibility and the poor
visibility lower the traffic capacity of an aircraft. The fog has a tendency to settle into
areas where there is little wind. The lake of wind is caused by the topographical features
of the surrounding locality. In a similar way, the smoke and haze are present at sites
very near to the large industrial areas.
The detailed analysis of available weather records of all the potential sites will
be helpful in recommending that site which has the characteristics commensurate with
the aviation needs. The wind data should also be studied and to have minimum blowing
of smoke from the city, the site should be located on the wind ward direction.
(2)

Availability of land for expansion:

The field of aviation is expanding day by day. It is therefore necessary to


acquire land in advance or to be able to acquire sufficient real estate in the future for
expanding the airport. As the volume of traffic increases, it will be necessary to
lengthen the runways, to provide additional support facilities and to expand the terminal
facilities. For accommodation all these new facilities, the provision of sufficient real
estate must be made.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

(3)

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

Availability of utilities:
An airport, especially a large one, has to be provided with the

Utilities like water, electric power, telephone, sewer, etc. For electric power,
most of the major air ports provide their own generating plants to by used in
emergencies in the event when a commercial source fails. For a new site located far
away from available sewers, the sewage disposal plant may have to be constructed.
(4)

Development of the surrounding area:

The study of the type of development of the surrounding area is very important because the
airport activities, particularly form the standpoint of noise, are often quite objectionable to the
neighbors of the airport.The proximity of airport site to the residential areas, schools and
hospitals should be avoided whenever possible. Suitable zoning regulation should be imposed
to control the use of land adjacent to the airport so that conflicts in future are avoided.
In the early days of air transport, the airports were located far away form the city and the
nuisance of noise was not a problem to the community. In fact, the audible evidence of arrival
and departure of planes was ofnten a source of local pride. With the introduction of jet
aircrafts, the problem of noise has been aggravated with adverse community reactaion.
However, the manufacturers of the aircrafts are well aware of this problem and all efforts are
made to reduce the noise to a minimum level consistent with the operating economics and
safety of the aircraft.

(5)

Economy of construction:

It is clear that if alternative sites are available and equally well- suited, the site which is
more economical to construct should be given preference. The sites having waterlogged
areas or reclaimed lands are very costly to develop than those of natural ground. The
uneven train requires much more grading than flat or even terrain. The availability of
local construction materials may also have a significant impact on the cost of the project.
(6)

Ground accessibility:

The location of airport should be such that it results in the shortest ground access time.
This is especially true in case of short- hand operations. It is an irony of fact that with the
introduction of jet aircraft, the air time is reduced, but in many cases, the ground access
time exceeds the air time by a considerable margin. It may also be noted that the access to
airports is required not only by air passengers, but also by other users of the airport such
as employees, visitors, spectators, etc.
The airline passenger is interested in overall door- to door time than just in the
portion in the air. The location of airport at a considerable distance from the center of
population may cause great inconvenience to the users. All modes of transport should be
considered for an easy ground access to the airport.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

(7)

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

Presence of other airport:

The airport should be located at a sufficient distance apart. The is necessary to prevent
the aircrafts which are maneuverings for a landing at one airport form interfering with the
movements of the aircrafts at other airports. The minimum distance between the adjacent
airports will depend upon the volume and type of air traffic, operating facilities, etc. if
this precaution is not taken, there will be severe air traffic congestion due to limited air
space and it will result in the reduction of airport capacity.
Table 3-1 Given below shows the minimum airport spacings suggested as a guide for
planning.
No

Type of airport

Serving small general aviation aircrafts under VFR


(Visual flight araules)conditions

3.20

Serving bigger aircrafts of say two piston


engine under VFR conditions

Minimum spacing in km

6.40

Serving pistion engine aircrafts under IFR


(instrument flight rules) conditions

25.60

Serving jet engine aircrafts under IFR conditions

160.00

(8)

Regional plan:

The airport site should be selected in such a way that it fits appropriately in the regional
plan such an airport will form an integral part of the national airport network.
(9)

Soil characteristics:

The airport site with the favourable soil characteristics is desirable because it reduces the
cost of grading and drainage to a considerable extent. The area should as far as possible be
self drained.
The shape of the airport and the general pattern of the drainage system are
Determined by the topographical features of the site. The sites having high water tables may
require costly subsoil drainage. A valley site requires less grading, but the possibility of

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

floods should be investigated for such sites. An elevated site provides better drainage and
visibility.
The soil containing a reasonable amount of pervious material like gravel or sand with a
suitable natural binder is desiramle for the airport site. The most undesirable type of the soil
is the one having the property of becoming plastic when wet.
(10)

Surrounding obstructions:

The airport site should be clear of the obstructions likely to interfere which the landing and
taking off operations of the aircrafts. Lf they are existing, it should be possible to clear them
easily. For any future erection of the obstructions, the steps should be taken to implement
height restrictions in the surrounding area of the airport. The zoning for height restrictions
should be initiated as soon as the site has been finally selected.
The obstructions may either be natural like trees, sloping ground, etc. or man-made like
buildings, grid towers, etc. the removal of the obstructions surrounding the airport site is
absolutely necessary to grant safety to the aircraft activities relating to losing or gaining
altitude gradually.
(11)

Topography:

The topographical features like ground contours, trees, streams, etc., should be studied while
selecting the site for an airport. A raised ground like a hill top is usually considered to be an
ideal site for an airport because of the following facts:
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)
(12)

lt grants better visibility due to less fog.


lt permits easy natural drainage.
The approach and turning zones are less obstructed.
There is natural drainage.

Use of airport:

The airport site is decided also by the use of airport i.e. civil or military. In case of an
emergency like war, the civilian airport are taken over by the military. it is there necessary to
see that the airport site grants natural protection from air attacks during war.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

RUNWAY DESIGN
General:
The number and orientation of the runways play an important role in the overall
arrangement of various components of an airport. The number of runway will depend on the
volume of air traffic while its orientation will depend on the direction of the wind and
sometimes on the extent area available for the airport development.
In general, the arrangement of the runways and the connecting taxiways should comply with
the following conditions:
(1) to avoid delay in the landing, taxiing and take off operations and to cause the least
inference in these operations:
(2) to grant the shortest taxi distance possible from the terminal area to the ends of
runways;
(3) to make provision for adequate taxiways so that the landing aircraft can leave the
runways as quickly as possible and follow routes as short as possible to the terminal
area; and
(4) to provide adequate separation in the air traffic pattern.
In this chapter, the main aspects connected with the runway design will be described.
Runway orientation:
Preliminary information required:
it is necessary to collect the following data before deciding runway design will be
described.
(1) maps of the area in the vicinity of the airport showing contours at suitable intervals;
and
(2) records of direction, force and duration of the wind in the vicinity and fog
characteristics of the area for as long a period as possible.
Head Wind:
The runway is usually oriented in the direction of the prevailing winds. The head wind
indicates the wind from the opposite direction of the head or nose of the aircraft while it is
landing or taking off. The orientation of runway along the head wind grants the following two
advantages:
(1) During landing, it provides a breaking effect and the aircraft comes to a
stop in a stop in a short length of the runway.
(2) During take off, it provides greater lift on the wings of the aircraft.
Thus, the landing and take off operations take place in a shorter length of the runway due to
the head wind than what it would have been, if the landing and take off were in the direction
of wind. The reduction in length of runway may be about 10% or so.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

Cross wind component:

It is not possible to get direction of opposite wind parallel to the centre-line of the runway
length everyday or through the year. For some period of the year at least, the wind may blow
marking some angle with the direction of the centre-line of the runway length as shown in
fig. 4-1 in the text book of Airport engineering by Khanna.
It V km p.h. is the velocity of the inclined opposing wind, its component sin which is
normal to the centre- line of the runway length is called the cross the wind component. lf this
component is in excess, it will interrupt the safe landing and take off operation. The
orientation of the runway should therefore be such that this component is kept to a minimum.
For light and medium weight aircrafts, the cross wind component should not exceed 25 km
p.h.
Wind coverage:
The percentage of time in a year during which the cross wind component remains within the
limit of 25 km p.h. is called the wind coverage of the runway. The orientation of the runway
should be such that the minimum wind coverage of about 95% is obtained. For busy airport,
it is possible to obtain wind coverage upto 98% or even 100%.
Wind rose:
For the airport, the average wind data of 5 to 10 years period are collected and represented
graphically in the form of a chart known as wind rose. The diagram is given the name wind
rose because of its irregular shape resembling a rose. The study of wind rose helps in
determining the most suitable orientation of the runway. It is also a useful device for
estimating the runway capacity. Table 4-1 gives the details of a typical wind data for an
average of say 5 years. It is assumed that the duration of wind for any one direction covers an
angle of 22.5 degrees

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

TABLE 4-1
Wind
direction

TYPICAL WIND DATA

Percentage of tem

Totalpercentage
Ineachdirection

6-25

25-50

50-80

km ph.

km phi.

km phi.

4.5

1.40

0.10

6.10

NNE

3.4

0.75

0.00

4.15

NE

1.8

0.03

0.10

1.93

ENEE

2.8

0.02

0.03

2.85

2.1

2.20

0.00

4.30

ESE

5.4

4.75

0.00

10.15

SE

6.4

1.40

0.00

7.80

SSE

7.5

0.02

0.00

7.52

4.6

1.40

0.10

6.10

SSW

2.4

0.75

0.00

3.15

SW

1.2

0.03

0.10

1.33

WSW

3.6

0.02

0.03

3.65

1.8

2.20

0.00

4.00

WNW

6.0

4.75

0.00

10.75

NW

5.9

1.40

0.00

7.30

NNW

6.9

0.02

0.00

6.92

Total

66.4

21.14

0.46

88.00

The plotting of the wind rose diagrams can be done in the following two ways:
Type 1 : Showing direction and duration of wind.
Type ll: Showing direction, direction and intensity of wind.
Each of the above type of plotting will now be discussed.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

Type l wind rose:


Fig. 4-3 in the text book of Airport engineering by Khanna shows the wind rose diagram of
this type. the radial lines indicate the wind direction and each circle represents the duration
of wind to a certain scale. From the wind data of table 4-1, the total percentage of wind
blowing in north is 6.10 and accordingly, this point is marked along north direction.
Similarly, all other values are plotted and then joined by the straight lines. The best direction
of runway is indicated along the direction if the longest line on the wind rose diagram. In fig.
4-3, in the text book of Airport engineering by Khanna WNW- ESE is the best orientation for
the runway. This type of wind rose does not consider the of cross wind component.

Type II wind rose:


From the wind data of table 4-1, it is observed that the percentage of time during which the
wind the velocity is less than 6 km p.h. works out to (100 88) = 12. this period is called the
calm period and it does not influence the operations of landing and take off because of low
wind velocity. Thus, the wind velocities below 6 km p.h. have no effect on the fixing of
orientation of a runway.
The construction and use of this type of wind rose diagram are illustrated in fig. 4-4. in the
text book of Airport engineering by Khanna Following procedure is adopted:
(1) The concentric circles with radii corresponding to 6, 25, 50 and 80 km p.h. to
some scale are drawn. Thus, each circle represents the wind velocity to some scale.
(2) Starting with centre of the concentric circles, the 16 radial directions are shown on
the outer circle. The mid-points of 16 arcs on the outermost concentric circle are marked and
they given the cardinal directions of compass like N, NNE, NE, ENE, E, etc.
(3) The recorded duration of winds and expressed as percentage are shown for each
cardinal direction in the sector pertaining to that direction. It may be noted that the cardinal
direction is central to its sector. Taking the wind data for N direction, the duration of 6-25,
25-50 and 50-80 km p.h. wind velocities are shown in 3 pertinent parts of the N direction
sector as 4.6, 1.4 and 0.1%. Similarly, for NNE direction, the durations in the sector of NNE
direction are shown as 3.4, 0.75 and 0.00%. The durations of wind velocities are thus shown
in all the sectors to complete the wind rose diagram.
(4) A transparent rectangular template or paper strip taken. Its length should be
slightly greater than the diameter of the wind rose diagram and its width should be greater
than twice the allowable cross wind component i.e. (2 X 25) = 50 km p.h. The scale for cross
wind component should be the same as that of the concentric circles of the wind rose
diagram. Along the centre of the length of this template, a line is marked corresponding to the
direction of runway. The two parallel lines, one on either side of the centre-line, is drawn at a
distance equal to the allowable cross wind component i.e. 25 km p.h. from the centre-line. In
other words, the two parallel lines are 50 km p.h. away from each other.
(5) The wind rose diagram is fixed in position on a drawing board. A hole is drilled in
the centre of the template and it is placed on the wind rose diagram such that its centre lies
over the centre of the wind rose diagram. In this position, the template is fixed by a pin
passing through its centre so that the template can rotate about this pin as axis.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

(6) The template is rotated and is placed along a particular direction. In this position
of the template, the duration of 6-25, 25-50 and 50-80 km p.h. winds are read for the cardinal
directions lying between the two extream parallel lines marked on the template. The sum of
all these durations is expressed as the percentage and it given the total wind coverage for that
direction.
(7) The template is then rotated and is placed in the next direction. The total wind
coverage is calculated and the process is repeated for all the directions.
(8) The direction which gives the maximum wind coverage is the suitable direction
for the orientation of the runway.
Following points should be noted:
(1) If the extreme parallel lines on the template cut some of the three
significant parts of a sector for a cardinal direction, the values of the
truncated portions of these parts lying inside the parallel line should be
found by eye estimation. This is done on the assumption that the full part
represents the percentage of duration marked on it.
(2) The maximum wind coverage of a runway should be 95% on the
assumption that the calms are 5%. If a single runway is not sufficient to
provide the necessary coverage, two or more number of runways should be
planned to get the desired coverage.
(3) If proper wind data for an entirely new location are not recorded, the study
of nearby measuring stations may be made. If the surrounding area is fairly
level, the records of these stations may indicate the winds at the site of the
proposed airport. If the area is however hilly, the wind pattern is often
dictated by the topography and it will prove dangerous to utilize the site. In
such cases, it will be advisable to study the topography of the region at
least for one year and correlate the observations from the information
gathered from the old residents of the locality.
Change in direction of runway:
The ideal orientation decided from the study of the wind rose diagram may have to be
slightly altered or changed because of the following factors:
(1) Excessive grading: if the orientation of runway demands excessive grading
and earthwork, it will have to be suitably modified even though it might
have been satisfactory with respect to the safe approaches and the wind
coverage.
(2) Noise nuisance: The location of runway should be such that it does not
create excessive noise nuisance to the surrounding developed residential
areas and public places of importance. This factor may also sometimes
cause the change in direction of the runway as decided by the wind rose
diagram.
(3) Obstructions: The absence of obstructions in the layout of the runway is
more important than the consideration of the permissible cross wind
component. Hence, the runway direction providing fewer obstructions in
the approach zone is preferred to one having greater wind coverage.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

Basic runway length:


The length of runway based on the following assumed conditions is known as the basic
runway length:
(1) No wind is blowing on the runway.
(2) The aircraft is loaded to its full loading capacity.
(3) The airport is situated at sea-level.
(4) There is no wind blowing on the way to the destination.
(5) The runway is leveled in the longitudinal direction or in other words, it
has zero effective gradient.
(6) The standard temperature is maintained along the way.
(7) The standard temperature of 15 oC exists at the airport.

The manner in which an aircraft actually performs the landing and take off will decide to a
large extent the length of a runway. Following three cases will be considered:
(1) Normal landing
(2) Normal take off
(3) Stopping in emergency.

(1)
Normal landing: As shown in fig. 4-5, in the text book of Airport engineering by
Khanna the aircraft should come to a stop within 60 per cent of the landing distance assuming
that the pilot makes an approach at the proper speed and crosses the threshold of the runway
at a height of 15 m. the beginning of the runway portion to be used as landing is known as the
threshold. The runway of full strength pavement is provided for the entire landing distance.
(2) Normal take off: The take off distance (TOD) must be, for a specific weight of
aircraft, 115 per cent of the actual distance the aircraft uses to reach a height of 10.5 m, as
shown in fig. 4-6. in the text book of Airport engineering by Khanna the distance to reach the
height of 10.5 m should be equal to 115 per cent of the lift-off distance (LOD).
The normal take off requires a clearway which is defined as an area beyond the runway not
less than 150 m wind, centrally located about the extended centre-line of the runway and
under the control of the airport authorities. It is expressed in terms of a clearway plane
extending from the end of the runway with an upward slope not exceeding 1.25 percent. It is
to be seen that the clearway is free any obstruction. The clearway should not be more than
one-half the difference between 115 percent of the LOD and TOD.
(3) Stopping in emergency: For the engine failure case, the TOD is the actual distance required
to reach a height of 10.5 m with no percentage applied. It also incidentally recognizes the
infrequency of occurrence of the engine failure. On case of an engine failure, sufficient
distance should be available to stop the airplane rather than continue the take off. This
distance is known as the accelerate-stop distance, as shown in fig. 4-7 in the text book of
Airport engineering by Khanna.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

It is required to provide a clearway or a stopway or both in this case. The stopway is defined
as a rectangular area at the end of runway and in the direction of take off. It is a paved area in
which an aircraft can be stopped after an interrupted take off due to engine failure. Its width
is at least equal to the width of runway and the thickness of pavement less than that of the
runway, but yet sufficient to take the load of aircraft without failure. The clearway should not
be more than one-half the difference between TOD and LOD.
All the above three cases are considered for the jet engine aircrafts. For the piston engine
aircrafts, only the first and the third cases are considered. The case giving the longest runway
length is finally recommended.
Corrections to basic runway length:
To get actual length of the runway, the following three corrections are to be applied to the
calculated basic runway length:
(1) Correction for elevation
(2) Correction for gradient
(3) Correction for temperature.
(1) Correction for elevation: As per the recommendation of ICAO, the basic runway
length should be increased at the rate of 7% per 300 m rise in elevation of airport
above the mean sea level. This correction is required because the air density reduces
as the elevation increases which in turn reduces the lift on the wings of the aircraft.
Thus, the aircraft will require more ground speed to rise to the air and for achieving
more speed, the longer length of runway will be required.
(2) Correction for gradient: As the gradient becomes steep, more consumption of energy
takes place and longer length of the runway will be required to attain the desired
ground speed. The ICAO does not give any specific recommendation for the increase
in length due to the effective gradient.
The maximum difference in elevation between the highest and the lowest points of
runway divided by the total length of runway is known as the effective gradient.
According to FAA ( Federal Aviation Administration) of U.S.A., the runway length
after being corrected for elevation and temperature should further be increased at the
rate of 20% for every 1% of the effective gradient.
(3) Correction for temperature: The rise in airport reference temperature has the same
effect as that of the increase in its elevation above mean sea-level. After the basic
length is corrected for the elevation of airport, it is further increased at the rate of 1%
for every 1 oC rise in airport reference temperature above the standard atmospheric
temperature at that elevation. The airport reference temperature is worked out by the
following expression:
2

Airport reference temperature = Y1 +

T T
3

Where T1 = monthly mean of the average daily temperature for the hottest month of the year
T2 = monthly mean of the Maximum temperature for the hottest month of the year

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

The standard temperature at the airport site can be determined by reducing the standard mean
sea-level temperature of 15 oC at rate of 6.5 oC per thousand metre rise in elevation.
Note: The ICAO recommends that if the total correction for elevation plus temperature
exceeds 35% of the basic runway length, the specific studies at the site by model tests should
be carried out before finally adopting the runway length.

ELEMENTS OF AIRPORT LIGHTING


Following are the nine elements of the airport lighting:
I. Airport beacon
II. Approach lighting
III. Apron and hangar lighting
IV. Boundary lighting
V. Lighting of landing direction indicator
VI. Lighting of wind direction indicator
VII. Runway lighting
VIII. Taxiway lighting
IX. Threshold lighting.
Each of the above elements of the airport lighting will now be briefly described.
I. Airport beacon:
A beacon is a strong beam of light which is used to indicate any geographical
location. It is situated slightly above the horizontal and rotated to produce the flashing
light to an observer.
The rotating airport beacon gives out white and green flashes in the horizontal
directions 180o apart. The flashes are visible to the pilot from any direction of
approach and it indicates the approximate situation of an airport equipped for the
night operations. It rotates at six revolutions per minute and is usually mounted over
the top of the terminal building or hangar. If the obstruction is yet not cleared, a
separate tower may be provided for the installation of the rotating beacon.
The term code beacon is used to indicate the light provided sufficiently high to clear
all the obstructions. It consists of two 500 watts bulbs with green colous screen. It
continuously flashes a Morse code signal designating the airport.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

II. Approach lighting:


Before the runway actually begins, there is a sequence of high-intensity lighting
arrangement for a length of 900 m. the pilot can see from these approach lights
whether his aircraft is centered correctly. These lights then give way to the touchdown
zone lights from the threshold of the runway.
The approach lights are normally mounted on pedestals of varying height to
accommodate any irregularities in the ground ensuring that the lights themselves are
always level. They are specially designed to give way if accidentally hit.
Following are the two arrangements adopted for the approach lighting:
(1) Calvart system
(2) ICAO system.
(1) Calvert system: Fig. 9-15 in the text book of Airport engineering by Khanna
shows this system. It is widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. It
was developed by E.S. Calvert in Great Britain.
(2) ICAO system: This system is known as the centre-line configuration. A
system which has been standardized by the ICAO and is adopted in the United
States as a national standard for civil and military aerodromes. Fig. 9-16 in the
text book of Airport engineering by Khanna shows this ICAO system of
approach lights.
Following are the two differences in the working of the Calvert system and ICAO
system:
(1) Number of transverse crossbars: In the Calvert system, there are six transverse
rows of lights of variable length placed at a centre to centre distance of 150 m. in
the ICAO system, there is only one crossbar 300 m from the threshold.
(2) Roll guidance: In the Calvert system, the roll guidance is principally provided by
the transverse rows of lights. In the ICAO system, the roll guidance is provided by
bars 4.2 m in length, placed at 30 m centre to centre on the extended centre-line of
the runway and a single crossbar 300 m from the threshold. The 4.2 m long bars
consist of five closely spaced lights to give the effect of a continuous bar of light.
III. Apron and hangar lighting:
The apron and hangar areas are flood lit for the convenience on servicing and loading.
The flood-lighting system constitutes a projector designed to be arranged to illuminate
a surface. These lights are mounted in such a way that they do not cause glare in the
eyes of the pilots, passengers and service personnel. It is recommended that the flood
lights should be placed at a height of not less than 12 m above the pavement.
IV. Boundary lighting:
The entire boundary of the airfield is provided with lights at a centre to centre
distance of about 90 m with height of about 75 cm from the ground. If a fence is
provided along the boundary, these lights should be placed inside the fence at a
distance of about 3 m.

B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

For indicating the hazardous approach, the boundary lights are provided with the red
marker lights.
V. Lighting of landing direction indicator:
The landing direction indicator is illuminated with suitable lighting arrangement so
that the airport can be used at night also.
VI. Lighting of landing direction indicator:
The wind direction indicator is illuminated by four 200 watts angle reflectors placed
1.8 m above the top of the cone for providing a continuous lighting at any position of
the cone. Such an arrangement grants the use of the wind direction indicator at night
and during bad weather conditions,
VII. Runway lighting:
After crossing the threshold, the pilot must complete a touchdown and roll out on the
runway lighting is carried out in such a way that the pilot gets enough information on
alignment, lateral displacement, roll and distance. The lights are also so arranged that
they form a visual pattern which the pilots can easily interpret.
In the earlier system, the night landings were made by flood-lighting the entire
runway edge lights were adopted as the visual aids on the runway. The more precise
runway lighting arrangement which is now commonly used on all the major airports is
known as the narrow gauge pattern. It makes use of the centre-line and touchdown
zone lights for operations in very poor visibility. Fig. 9-17 in the text book of Airport
engineering by Khanna shows the narrow gauge pattern for the runway lighting.
As the pilot crosses the threshold and continues to look along the centre-line, the
principal source of guidance, namely, the edge lights has moved for to each side in
their peripheral vision. As a result, the central area appears excessively black and the
pilot is virtually flying blind except for the peripheral reference information. This is
known as the black hole effect. The attempt to eliminate the black hole effect.
Intensity of the edge lights was proved ineffective. By adopting the narrow gauge
pattern of the runway lighting, the central portion gets illuminated and the black hole
effect is partly eliminated.
The narrow gauge pattern forms a channel of light of 18 m width upto 1140 m from
the threshold and beyond this distance, the closely spaced lights are placed along the
centre-line of the runway extending upto the other end of the runway.
All the lights provided on the runway are white in colour and of flush type i.e. they do
not protrude more than 1 cm above the surface of the pavement. The runway edge
lights are of elevated type and they are white in color except for the last 600 m of an
instrument runway facing the pilot which are of yellow colour to indicate a caution
zone.
VIII. Taxiway lighting:
The pilots have to manoeuvre the aircrafts on a system of taxiways to and from the
terminal and hangar areas either after a landing or on the way to take off. The taxiway
B.G.Rahul

AIRPORT ENGINEERING

Dept. of Civil Engineering - KLU

system for a large airport may be very complex and it becomes therefore necessary to
provide adequate lighting aids for taxiing at night and in daytime when the visibility is
very poor.
Following are the design considerations which apply to the visual aids for the
taxiways:
(1) For normal exits, the centre-line lights are terminated at the edge of the runway. At
taxiway intersections, the lights continue across the intersection. They are placed at a
distance of 6 m to 7.5 m along the straight length and 3 m to 3.6 m along the curves.
(2) The complete route from the runway to the apron should be easily identified.
(3) The edge lights should not extend more than 75 cm above the pavement surface.
(4) The exits from the runways should be so lighted that the pilots are able to locate the
exits 360 m to 400 m ahead of the point of turn.
(5) The intersections of taxiways and runway-taxiway crossings should be clearly
marked.
(6) The lights on the tangent portion are placed not more than 60 m apart and the distance
from the edge along the taxiway is 3 m The spacing of lights is reduced in the curves
and the intersections to facilitate easy identification. The spacing varies from 6 m for
a curve of radius 4.5 m to 60 m for a curve of 300 m.
(7) There should be adequate guidance along the taxiway.
(8) The taxiway edge lights are blue and the taxiway centre-line lights are green.
(9) The taxiways should be clearly identified so that they are not confused with the
runways.
(10)
Where the taxiways intersect with the runways and the aircraft are required to
stop for a short time on the runway, several yellow lights spaced at 1.5 m intervals are
placed transversely across the taxiway.
IX Threshold lighting :
The identification of the threshold is a major factor for the decision of the pilot to land
or not to land. For this reason, the region near the threshold is given special lighting
treatment as shown in fig. 9-16. in the text book of Airport engineering by Khanna
At large airports, the threshold is identified by a complete line of green lights
extending across the entire width of the runway. They must be of semi-flash type i.e.
protruding not more than 12 cm above the surface.
At small airports, the threshold is identified by four lights on each side of the
threshold. They can be of elevated type i.e. protruding more than 12 cm above the
surface.
The threshold lights in the direction of landing are green and in the opposite direction,
they are red to indicate the end of the runway.

B.G.Rahul