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Components of an Airport

8/6/2012 7:23:04 AM | by Anonymous

Airports

Air travel around the world has seen a rise within the last century with developments in aircraft technology. Air travel has made places all across the world, which previously could not be reached, accessible to everyone. Before the rise of air travel, traveling across the world to places could take weeks to months by sea onboard ships. However the invention and developments of aircrafts have benefited the world and economies greatly. Not only has the commercial sector benefited from aircrafts, but militaries around the world reinforce their strength by adding fighter aircraft to their squads to ensure a multidimensional approach to safeguard their interest. Although aircrafts and air travel is such an important factor to the world today, these technologies are only able to function with the aid of airports. Airports are essential to ensure that aircrafts can function and achieve their desired goals.

Airports, as defined by formal terms are locations where aircrafts such as fighter jets, commercial airlines and helicopters take off and land. An airport usually consists of a runway for the plane to take off or land, or a helipad, control towers and terminal buildings. Aircrafts can be stored and maintained at an airport. There are also those aircraft that enclose a water space within their premises to allow seaplanes or amphibious aircraft to land and take off. These kinds of aircraft have the ability to land on water, therefore instead of using a runway, the aircraft uses its water body to allow aircraft to depart or arrive. Adjacent to the water body are passenger facility buildings that accommodate to the needs of passengers. Large airports usually have fixed base operators services that provide the aircrafts with fueling, hangaring, tie-down and parking and maintenance for aircrafts as well as restaurants, lounges and emergency services for passengers.

Runway

Runways are rectangular areas on land that can be man-made surfaces made out of asphalt, concrete or both or even natural surfaces such as grass, dirt or ice. These areas are prepared for the landing and taking off of aircrafts. Some airports may have more than one runway whereas some small scale airports may have just one runway. Runways are essential for every airport as they provide access for planes to come into the airport or leave the airport. Runways are numbered 01 to 36. In the three dimensional world, there is a maximum of 360 degrees only. Therefore, a runway numbered 09 would suggest that it points 90 degrees to the east and a runway numbered 27 would suggest it points 270 degrees to the west. These numbers are constant throughout the world and are relative to the north point.

Control Tower

Air traffic Control (ATC) is a service provided by ground based controllers to guide and separate aircrafts in the controlled air space and on the airport premises from the control tower. A control tower is usually taller than the rest of the buildings in the airport with a 360 degree view of the surroundings, to ensure that air traffic controllers have clear view of any incoming aircrafts. The primary purpose of ATC is to separate aircraft from one another and prevent any collisions from happening. The controllers in these towers provide aircraft pilots with the necessary information for a safe landing or take-off. Some ATC towers may also play a military role against unrecognized aircrafts, to prevent any unwanted aircraft from entering the controlled air space.

Terminal Buildings

Also known as airport terminal, these buildings are the spaces where passengers board or alight from flights. These buildings house all the necessary facilities for passengers to check-in their luggage, clear the customs and have lounges to wait before disembarking. The terminals can house cafes, lounges and bars to serve as waiting areas for passengers. Ticket counters, luggage check-in or transfer, security checks and customs are the basics of all airport terminals. Large airports can have more than one terminal that are connected to one another through link ways such as walkways, sky-bridges or trams. Smaller airports usually have only one terminal that houses all the required facilities.

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