Friday, August 10, 2012

Airport runway configurations

Runway is an important component of an airport and the capacity of an airport depends upon its runway configuration. The four basic types of runway are single runway, parallel runways, intersecting runways and non-intersecting runways. Single runway is the simplest format and is adopted if air traffic is less and wind blows in one direction for most of the time in a year. It can provide about 40 operations per hour. Parallel runways capacity depends upon the lateral spacing between two runways. Weather conditions and the various navigational aids available at the airport do affect the capacity of parallel runways. A minimum spacing of 1.5 km is required here. Parallel runways can provide about 70 operations per hour. When wind in a particular direction does not provide the required coverage, intersecting runways are preferred. The simultaneous use of both the runways depends on the cross wind component on each runway. The intersection point is to be fixed at the runway ends to achieve maximum capacity. Capacity of non-intersecting runways depends upon the wind conditions and visibility.