Meaning of AIRPORT in English


also called Air Terminal, Aerodrome, or Airfield, site and installation for the takeoff and landing of aircraft. An airport usually has paved runways and maintenance facilities and serves as a terminal for passengers and cargo. An airplane requires forward speed through the air in order to sustain flight. Attainment of the required speed is accomplished by means of a runway on which the aircraft is accelerated forward from a standing position to the takeoff speed. The runway is used in the opposite manner for a landing; the plane is brought down to the runway at a speed which will just barely sustain flight, and after it is on the ground it is brought to a stop. The runways are strips of the overall airport area designated for the landing and takeoff of aircraft. In the early days of aviation, large, open, grass-covered fields were used as airports. Known as landing fields, these airports allowed a pilot to head directly into the wind to aid takeoff and landing operations. (Heading into the wind increases a plane's lift on takeoff and slows a plane down during landing.) In the 1930s aircraft became heavy enough that hard runway surfaces (such as concrete or asphalt) were required to keep them from sinking into the turf or mud. These aircraft were still sensitive to crosswinds, however, so most airports were provided with four or five runways aligned in different directions so that pilots could choose one having a minimum amount of crosswind at the time of takeoff or landing. As aircraft continued to increase in weight and speed during the 1930s and '40s, they became less sensitive to crosswinds, and the number of runways was generally reduced to two. Parallel runways are now common; they can handle more traffic and separate takeoff and landing operations. The length of runways has steadily increased; runways of 4,570 m (15,000 feet) have been built to accommodate four-engined jet aircraft capable of carrying 250 or more passengers. Air-traffic controllers, aided by radar and other electronic navigation devices, direct incoming and outgoing aircraft from airport control towers and control centres located some distance from the airfield. The controllers also direct all aircraft movements on the ground, guiding pilots as they taxi their planes between the loading apron and runway. Passenger and cargo terminals have grown steadily larger and more complex with the increase in airport size. In some airports special ground transit systems (e.g., monorail or moving sidewalks) have been installed between parking areas and terminals. Passenger boarding is conducted according to either the so-called trickle system, in which boarding procedures are stretched out over a period of time, or the group system, in which all processing is first carried out, and the passengers board in a group. Cargo terminals, where airfreight is loaded, unloaded, and sorted, employ forklift trucks, cargo-cart trains, belt conveyers, and other techniques and machinery. Lighting is of major importance in an airport, despite the development of instrumented landing systems. A revolving green and white beacon has long been the visible mark of an airport. High-intensity white or amber approach lights, often running in a straight line beyond the limits of the airport, guide pilots to runways. White runway lights are turned on and off as needed by the control tower or by automatic systems. Green threshold lights indicate the ends of the runways, while blue lights mark the taxiways used by aircraft to enter and exit from runways. Red lights are used to mark obstructions, and red flashing lights are used to warn of high obstructions. Virtually all governments prescribe standards for construction and operation of airports. The International Civil Aviation Organization issues a set of internationally accepted standards covering number, length, and orientation of runways, visual ground aids, and other details. also called air terminal, aerodrome, or airfield site and installation for the takeoff and landing of aircraft. An airport usually has paved runways and maintenance facilities and serves as a terminal for passengers and cargo. Additional reading Norman Ashford and Paul H. Wright, Airport Engineering, 3rd ed. (1992), comprehensively sets forth the planning, layout, and design of passenger and freight airports, including heliports and short takeoff and landing (STOL) facilities. Robert Horonjeff and Francis X. McKelvey, Planning and Design of Airports, 4th ed. (1993), is a comprehensive civil engineering text on the planning, layout, and design of airports with strong emphasis on aspects such as aircraft pavements and drainage. International Civil Aviation Organization, Aerodromes: International Standards and Recommended Practices (1990), includes the internationally adopted design and operational standards for all airports engaged in international civil aviation.Christopher R. Blow, Airport Terminals (1991), provides an architectural view of the functioning of airport passenger terminals with extensive coverage of design case studies. Walter Hart, The Airport Passenger Terminal (1985, reprinted 1991), describes the functions of passenger terminals and their design requirements. International Air Transport Association, Airport Terminals Reference Manual, 7th ed. (1989), provides design and performance requirements of passenger and freight terminals as set out by the international airlines' trade association.Denis Phipps, The Management of Aviation Security (1991), describes the operational and design requirements of civil airports to conform to national and international regulations. Norman Ashford, H.P. Martin Stanton, and Clifton A. Moore, Airport Operations (1984, reissued 1991), extensively discusses many aspects of airport operation and management, including administrative structure, security, safety, environmental impact, performance indices, and passenger and aircraft handling. Norman Ashford and Clifton A. Moore, Airport Finance (1992), discusses the revenue and expenditure patterns of airport authorities, methods of financing, business planning, and project appraisal. Rigas Doganis, The Airport Business (1992), examines the status of airport business in the early 1990s, performance indices, commercial opportunities, and privatization of airports. Norman J. Ashford

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