5.1 Introduction [S]
A plane should be in the air and not on the ground, but eventually they all come down – preferably at an airport.
Hence it’s important for an air traffic controller to have good knowledge about how the airport is built.
All airports are built on the same principal, regardless of size. Take a closer look at the chart below and study the design.
A runway is a strip used for take-off and landing.
The runways are numbered according to the compass-direction they are headed, rounded off to the closest tenth degrees. A runway that has the “course” 180 degrees is hence named 18 and one with ”course” 154 is named 15. Since you can use a runway from both directions, it’s named with the contra-course from the other side (18/36).
Some airports have parallel runways, i.e. more then one runway that has the same number. They are named with the suffixes R (right), and L (left) after the number to tell them apart if they are two and R, C (centre) and L if there are three.
There are two pairs of numbers that aren’t used in some countries; 02/20 and 13/31, even though the runway might have those headings. The reason for this is the risk for mix-up if the figures are reversed.
5.4 Chart over typical airport [S]
Localizer gives information about the lateral navigation, and will guide the pilot straight ahead on the final approach course towards the runway.
Basically it transmits a 90 Hz signal on one side (left side of runway) and a 150 Hz on the other side (right side) of the runway.
If the instrument in the aircraft senses a stronger 150 Hz signal, it will deflect to the left, and visa versa with 90 Hz.
If the instrument senses equal 90 Hz and 150 Hz signal, the needle is in the middle position, and the aircraft is centred on the extended centreline.
The localizer signal is usually accurate till 25 nm out.
Categories of precision approach and landing operations:
(As specified in ICAO EUR Doc 013, second edition April 2005)
The length of the runway is very important when determining if it enough to land and start from. Different airplanes require different length of runway in order to land and take off. This is of course affected by the weight of the aircraft, but also by weather-conditions. The pilot must make sure that the available runway-length is sufficient and the ATC should have knowledge as to what the abbreviations mean and where the information can be found, if needed.
The ICAO requires that the first four of the following full runway declared distances be calculated and promulgated for each runway intended to be used by aircraft operators engaged in international commercial air transport:
This is the part of the airport that is used for start, landing and taxiing.
In most countries, this is the only area where you need a clearance before you are allowed to move the aircraft.
5.8.3 Runway [S+]