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An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport.

often have facilities to store and maintain aircraft, and a control tower. An airport consists of
a landing area, which comprises an aerially accessible open space including at least one
operationally active surface such as a runway for a plane to take off[3] or a helipad,[4] and often
includes adjacent utility buildings such as control towers, hangars[5] and terminals. Larger airports
may have fixed-base operator services, airport aprons, taxiway bridges, air traffic control centres,
passenger facilities such as restaurants and lounges, and emergency services.
An airport with a helipad for rotorcraft but no runway is called a heliport. An airport for use
by seaplanes and amphibious aircraft is called a seaplane base. Such a base typically includes a
stretch of open water for takeoffs and landings, and seaplane docks for tying-up.
An international airport has additional facilities for customs and passport control as well as
incorporating all of the aforementioned elements above. Such airports rank among the most complex
and largest of all built typologies with 15 of the top 50 buildings by floor area being airport terminals.
In warfare, airports can become the focus of intense fighting, for example the Battle of Tripoli
Airport or the Battle for Donetsk Airport, both taking place in 2014. An aerodrome primarily for
military use is called an airbase (or "Air Base") or air station.


• 1Landside and airside areas

• 2Air traffic control presence
• 3Terminology
• 4Infrastructure
o 4.1Airport ownership and operation
o 4.2Airport structures
o 4.3Products and services
o 4.4Premium and VIP services
o 4.5Cargo and freight service
o 4.6Support services
o 4.7Airport access
o 4.8Internal transport
o 4.9History and development
• 5Airport designation and naming
• 6Airport security
• 7Airport operations
o 7.1Air traffic control
o 7.2Traffic pattern
o 7.3Navigational aids
o 7.4Taxiway signs
o 7.5Lighting
7.5.1Airport Apron
o 7.6Weather observations
o 7.7Safety management
• 8Airport ground crew (Ground Handling)
• 9Environmental concerns and sustainability
• 10Military airbase
• 11Airports in entertainment
o 11.1Filming at airports
• 12Airport directories
• 13See also
• 14References
• 15External links

Landside and airside areas[edit]

Airports are divided into landside and airside. Landside includes areas such as check-in, parking
lots, public transport railway stations and access roads. Airside includes all areas accessible to
aircraft, including runways, taxiways and aprons/ramps. Passage between landside and airside is
tightly controlled at all airports. To access airside, one must go through Security, and if applicable,
Passport Control too. This applies to everyone, including staff.
Most major airports provide commercial outlets for products and services. Airports may also contain
premium and VIP services. The premium and VIP services may include express check-in and
dedicated check-in counters. In addition to people, airports move cargo around the clock. Many large
airports are located near railwaytrunk routes.

Air traffic control presence[edit]

Commercial jets wait for the "7am hold" to pass before departing from John Wayne Airport, Feb 14, 2015

The majority of the world's airports are non-towered, with no air traffic control presence. Busy
airports have air traffic control (ATC) system. All airports use a traffic pattern to assure smooth traffic
flow between departing and arriving aircraft. There are a number of aids available to pilots, though
not all airports are equipped with them. Many airports have lighting that help guide planes using the
runways and taxiways at night or in rain, snow, or fog. In the U.S. and Canada, the vast majority of
airports, large and small, will either have some form of automated airport weather station, a human
observer or a combination of the two. Air safety is an important concern in the operation of an
airport, and airports often have their own safety services.


Air bridges at Oslo Airport from an Icelandair Boeing 757-200

The terms aerodrome, airfield, and airstrip may also be used to refer to airports, and the
terms heliport, seaplane base, and STOLport refer to airports dedicated exclusively
to helicopters, seaplanes, or short take-off and landing aircraft.
In colloquial use, the terms airport and aerodrome are often interchanged. However, in general, the
term airport may imply or confer a certain stature upon the aviation facility that an aerodrome may
not have achieved. In some jurisdictions, airport is a legal term of art reserved exclusively for
those aerodromes certified or licensed as airports by the relevant national aviation authority after
meeting specified certification criteria or regulatory requirements.[6]
That is to say, all airports are aerodromes, but not all aerodromes are airports. In jurisdictions where
there is no legal distinction between aerodrome and airport, which term to use in the name of an
aerodrome may be a commercial decision. Aerodrome is uncommon in the United States.


The passenger terminal buildings at Incheon International Airport, Incheon, South Korea

Smaller or less-developed airports, which represent the vast majority, often have a single runway
shorter than 1,000 m (3,300 ft). Larger airports for airline flights generally have paved runways
2,000 m (6,600 ft) or longer. Many small airports have dirt, grass, or gravel runways, rather
than asphalt or concrete.
In the United States, the minimum dimensions for dry, hard landing fields are defined by the FAR
Landing And Takeoff Field Lengths. These include considerations for safety margins during landing
and takeoff. Heavier aircraft require longer runways.
The longest public-use runway in the world is at Qamdo Bamda Airport in China. It has a length of
5,500 m (18,045 ft). The world's widest paved runway is at Ulyanovsk Vostochny Airport in Russia
and is 105 m (344 ft) wide.
As of 2009, the CIA stated that there were approximately 44,000 "... airports or airfields recognizable
from the air" around the world, including 15,095 in the US, the US having the most in the world.[7][8]

Airport ownership and operation[edit]

The Berlin Brandenburg Airport is publicly financed by the states of Berlin and Brandenburg and the Federal
Republic of Germany.

Most of the world's airports are owned by local, regional, or national government bodies who then
lease the airport to private corporations who oversee the airport's operation. For example, in the
United Kingdom the state-owned British Airports Authorityoriginally operated eight of the nation's
major commercial airports – it was subsequently privatized in the late 1980s, and following its
takeover by the Spanish Ferrovial consortium in 2006, has been further divested and downsized to
operating just Heathrow now. Germany's Frankfurt Airport is managed by the quasi-private
firm Fraport. While in India GMR Group operates, through joint ventures, Indira Gandhi International
Airport and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Bengaluru International Airportand Chhatrapati Shivaji
International Airport are controlled by GVK Group. The rest of India's airports are managed by
the Airports Authority of India. In Pakistan nearly all civilian airports are owned and operated by
the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority except for Sialkot International Airport which has a distinctions
of being the first privately owned public airport in Pakistan and South Asia.
In the United States commercial airports are generally operated directly by government entities or
government-created airport authorities (also known as port authorities), such as the Los Angeles
World Airports authority that oversees several airports in the Greater Los Angeles area,
including Los Angeles International Airport.
In Canada, the federal authority, Transport Canada, divested itself of all but the remotest airports in
1999/2000. Now most airports in Canada are owned and operated by individual legal authorities or
are municipally owned.
Many U.S. airports still lease part or all of their facilities to outside firms, who operate functions such
as retail management and parking. In the U.S., all commercial airport runways are certified by the
FAA[9] under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 14 Part 139, "Certification of Commercial Service
Airports"[10] but maintained by the local airport under the regulatory authority of the FAA.
Despite the reluctance to privatize airports in the US (despite the FAA sponsoring a privatization
program since 1996), the government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) arrangement is the
standard for the operation of commercial airports in the rest of the world.