Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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What do all the Markings on an Airport Runway Mean?

There are numbers lines and patterns painted on airport runways to help the pilots of the aircrafts time their touchdowns accordingly so as to land safely. These lines are integral to the operation of the FOD Sweeper by Aerosweep.

The Blast Pad

The blast pad looks like part of the runway because it is paved and has yellow lines or chevrons on it. The purpose of this area is to prevent the blast of jets as they depart from creating erosion or bare patches on the soil just before the actual runway starts. The blast pad is not as thick as the runway and is never intended to be landed on or driven on, as it isn’t strong enough to hold the entire weight of an aircraft.

The Threshold

Directly in front of the blast pad is the threshold. It is marked with a series of long, thin lines that indicate the width of the runway to a pilot. This is actually the very beginning of the runway.

The Numbers and Letters

The next thing you see in front of the threshold is a number and it might include a letter as well. The number is the runway number that is relayed to a pilot before take off and before landing so he can use the correct runway and avoid other aircrafts. If there are two or more runways that are parallel to each, then the letter designates left as L, right as R and C as center so the exact one is chosen. You can understand why the runways’ numbers and letters need to be cleaned by a FOD Sweeper by Aerosweep to avoid confusion and accidents or collisions.

The Next Six Lines

Next on a runway, you will see six white lines with three on each side of the runway. This is the area where the planes touchdown when landing. Some airports have two rectangles of white on each side of the runway’s width directly after the six lines. This is called the aiming points. It is the area that the pilot is looking at when they are coming in for a landing.

The Numbers, Signs and Colors

A black sign that contains numbers is the number of thousands of feet on the runway in front of you. It helps pilots to know when to lift off without running out of runway or when to slow down after landing if they need to make a turn.

Anything painted in white is on the actual runway only. Yellow paint in any area is the taxi area on the tarmac or it can be an area that no one should go in.

The yellow markings and numbers that are close to the airport identify the gates.

The tarmac needs to be clean at all times to provide safety to the aircraft, passengers, pilots and staff on board. A FOD Sweeper by Aerosweep cleans the rubber from tires landing and any other dirt or debris off the runway. Another thing to note is that some areas of a runway will be lighter in color than others. That happens when markings are blasted off and re done on ocassion. The FAA doesn’t allow for markings to be painted over again because the new paint may wear away and show the paint underneath it to reveal information that is conflicting.