How to Decipher Two-Digit Airport Runway Designations

MWSS 374 Marines refurbish Camp Wilson airfield
Painting numbers on the approach section of the Strategic Expeditionary Landing Field at Camp Wilson by Pfc. Julio McGraw

 

17 July 2017 | | 99% Invisible

“Runways feature a lot of design details, but one in particular is both easy to miss (as you fly right over it) yet also hard to decode: their unique numbers. Public and military airfields alike feature numeric designations at either end of each runway, but what do they mean?

“All runways are numbered based on the magnetic azimuth (compass bearing) in which a runway is oriented,” explains Dave Dargie, Aviation Infrastructure Sector Lead at Stantec. But that seems strange at first glance, since the numbers are too short to represent 360 degrees.

runway-diagram-600x740
Runway number corresponding to compass bearing (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

The solution is to drop a digit, rounding the compass bearing by ten degrees so you end up with a range from 1 to 36. By extension, the opposite end of any given runway (180 degrees away) will be plus or minus 18 (e.g. 08 in one direction and 26 in the other).

Read More


Join the Hawkins Bay Revolution. Before it is banned. Or tossed in the bonfire.

amazonlogo

iBooks_icon_large

Kobo_logo_(2015).svg

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s