Runways are the distinctive fundamental element of any airport. Aircraft take-off and landing manoeuvres are carried out on them and they have the capacity to receive one kind of aircraft or another depending on their characteristics. Logically, the rest of the airport infrastructures would not have a reason for existing without them. Because of them, no two airports are alike. There are airports with runways of different dimensions, different layouts and airports with a greater or lesser number of runways.
Runways can be built out of different materials depending on a wide variety of factors, such as the site’s conditions, the airport’s permanence, the materials which are easily available in the area and even the investment budget available. We can therefore find runways made of earth, asphalt, concrete, grass and snow, and even the unique metal runways that can be found on many aircraft carriers.
However, the type of markings that have to be painted on runway surfaces have been standardised to aid navigation and improve airport operational safety.
We are surely familiar with some of the horizontal markings we see when landing or taking off from an airport, but it is almost certain we are not entirely sure of what each of them means and how they can determine the activities which are allowed in each specific case.
We have prepared this infographic so you can get to know the horizontal markings you can see painted on any runway and what each of them means. Please feel free to download and share it if you wish.
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Source: Own work.
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