A taxiway is a path for aircraft at an airport connecting runways with aprons, hangars, terminals and other facilities. They mostly have a hard surface such as asphalt or concrete, although smaller general aviation airports sometimes use gravel or grass.

Busy airports typically construct high-speed or rapid-exit taxiways to allow aircraft to leave the runway at higher speeds. This allows the aircraft to vacate the runway quicker, permitting another to land or take off in a shorter interval of time. This is usually accomplished by making the exiting taxiway longer, thus giving the aircraft more space in which to slow down, before the taxiways' upcoming intersection with another (perpendicular) taxiway, another runway, or the ramp/tarmac.

Most airports do not have a specific speed limit for taxiing (though some do). There is a general rule on safe speed based on obstacles. Operators and aircraft manufacturers might have limits. Typical taxi speeds are 20-30 knots (37-56 km/h; 23-35 mph).[1][2]

Dubai Airport 16.08.2009 05-08-19
Aircraft taxiing to runway, at Dubai Airport
Leipzig-Halle Airport Condor
A taxiway crossing the Autobahn


Munich Airport Apron
Taxiway at Munich Airport
  • Normal Centerline A single continuous yellow line, 15 centimetres (6 in) to 30 centimetres (12 in) in width.
  • Enhanced Centerline The enhanced taxiway center line marking consists of a parallel line of yellow dashes on either side of the taxiway centerline. Taxiway centerlines are enhanced for 150 feet (46 m) before a runway holding position marking. The enhanced taxiway centerline is standard[3] at all FAR Part 139 certified airports in the USA.
  • Taxiway Edge Markings Used to define the edge of the taxiway when the edge does not correspond with the edge of the pavement.
    • Continuous markings consist of a continuous double yellow line, with each line being at least 15 centimetres (6 in) in width, spaced 15 centimetres (6 in) apart. They divide the taxiway edge from the shoulder or some other abutting paved surface not intended for use by aircraft.
    • Dashed markings define the edge of a taxiway on a paved surface where the adjoining pavement to the taxiway edge is intended for use by aircraft, e.g. an apron. These markings consist of a broken double yellow line, with each line being at least 15 centimetres (6 in) in width, spaced 15 centimetres (6 in) apart (edge to edge). These lines are 15 feet (4.6 m) in length with 25 foot (7.6 m) gaps.
  • Taxi Shoulder Markings Taxiways, holding bays, and aprons are sometimes provided with paved shoulders to prevent blast and water erosion. Shoulders are not intended for use by aircraft, and may be unable to carry the aircraft load. Taxiway shoulder markings are yellow lines perpendicular to the taxiway edge, from taxiway edge to pavement edge, about 3 metres.
  • Surface Painted Taxiway Direction Signs Yellow background with a black inscription, provided when it is not possible to provide taxiway direction signs at intersections, or when necessary to supplement such signs. These markings are located on either side of the taxiway.
  • Surface Painted Location Signs Black background with a yellow inscription and yellow and black border. Where necessary, these markings supplement location signs located alongside the taxiway and assist the pilot in confirming the designation of the taxiway on which the aircraft is located. These markings are located on the right side of the centerline.
  • Geographic Position Markings These markings are located at points along low visibility taxi routes (when Runway visual range is below 1200 feet (370 m)). They are positioned to the left of the taxiway centerline in the direction of taxiing. Black inscription centered on pink circle with black inner and white outer ring. If the pavement is a light colour then the border is white with a black outer ring.
Hold Short
A newly painted Runway Holding Position Marking at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport [KBJC
  • Runway Holding Position Markings These show where an aircraft should stop when approaching a runway from a taxiway. They consist of four yellow lines, two solid and two dashed, spaced six or twelve inches (15 or 30 cm) apart, and extending across the width of the taxiway or runway. The solid lines are always on the side where the aircraft is to hold. There are three locations where runway holding position markings are encountered: Runway holding position markings on taxiways; runway holding position markings on runways; taxiways located in runway approach areas.
  • Holding Position Markings for Instrument Landing System (ILS) These consist of two yellow solid lines spaced two feet (60 cm) apart connected by pairs of solid lines spaced ten feet (3 metres) apart extending across the width of the taxiway.
  • Holding Position Markings for Taxiway/Taxiway Intersections These consist of a single dashed line extending across the width of the taxiway.
  • Surface Painted Holding Position Signs Red background signs with a white inscription to supplement the signs located at the holding position.

The taxiways are given alphanumeric identification. These taxiway IDs are shown on black and yellow signboards along the taxiways.


Ben Gurion International Airport taxiway signs
The signs can often be combined, in this case a direction sign, a location sign, and a runway sign

Airport guidance signs provide direction and information to taxiing aircraft and airport vehicles. Smaller airports may have few or no signs, relying instead on airport diagrams and charts.

There are two classes of signage at airports, with several types of each:

Operational guidance signs

Airport location sign
Location sign for a taxiway
Airport direction sign
Direction sign to taxiway Bravo
  • Location signs – yellow on black background. Identifies the runway or taxiway the aircraft is currently on or is entering.
  • Direction/Runway exit signs – black on yellow. Identifies the intersecting taxiways the aircraft is approaching, with an arrow indicating the direction to turn.
  • Stop Bar signs – white on blue background. The designation consists of the letter S followed by designation of the taxiway on which the Stop Bar is positioned. This sign is not standard.[4]
  • Other – many airports use conventional traffic signs such as stop and yield signs throughout the airport.
Ben Gurion International Airport 4 taxiway signs
The yellow "W2" direction sign in the foreground leading to the black "W2" location sign in the background. The blue "SW 2" sign is non-standard.

Mandatory instruction signs

Airport no entry sign
No entry sign

Mandatory instruction signs are white on red. They show entrances to runways or critical areas. Vehicles and aircraft are required to stop at these signs until the control tower gives clearance to proceed.

  • Runway signs – White text on a red background. These signs identify a runway intersection ahead, e.g. runway 12-30 in the photo above.
  • Frequency change signs – Usually a stop sign and an instruction to change to another frequency. These signs are used at airports with different areas of ground control.
  • Holding position signs – A single solid yellow bar across a taxiway indicates a position where ground control may require a stop. If two solid yellow bars and two dashed yellow bars are encountered, this indicates a holding position for a runway intersection ahead; runway holding lines must never be crossed without permission. At some airports, a line of red lights across a taxiway is used during low visibility operations to indicate holding positions. An "interrupted ladder" type marking with an "ILS" sign in white on red indicates a holding position before an ILS critical area.


Taxiway edge light
ATL TWY B - RWY Crossing (13534655025)
Taxiway lights
Lufthansa Airbus A319-112; D-AKNH@ZRH;26.11.2012 680bo (8222997035)
Taxiway lights
ATL 12-29-08 (3152114444)
Taxiways at Atlanta Airport

For night operations, taxiways at many airports are equipped with lights, although some small airports are not equipped with them.

  • Taxiway Edge Lights: used to outline the edges of taxiways during periods of darkness or restricted visibility conditions. These fixtures may be elevated or in-pavement and emit blue light normally. Where a four-way intersection crosses, the light at the centre of the crossing may be omnidirectional and emit yellow light. Where a road for ground vehicles only meets a taxiway or at an end of usable service area for a ramp or taxiway, the light at the edge of the road or the final taxiway edge light may emit red light.
  • Taxiway Centerline Lights: They are steady burning and emit green light located along the taxiway centerline. Where a taxiway crosses a runway, or where a "lead-off" taxiway centreline leads off of a runway to join a taxiway, these lights will alternate yellow and green.
  • Clearance Bar Lights: Three in-pavement steady-burning yellow lights installed at holding positions on taxiways
  • Runway Guard Lights: Either a pair of elevated flashing yellow lights installed on either side of the taxiway, or a row of in-pavement yellow lights installed across the entire taxiway, at the runway holding position marking at taxiway/runway intersections.
  • Stop Bar Lights: A row of red, unidirectional, steady-burning in-pavement lights installed across the entire taxiway at the runway holding position, and elevated steady-burning red lights on each side used in low visibility conditions (below 1,200 ft RVR). A controlled stop bar is operated in conjunction with the taxiway centerline lead-on lights which extend from the stop bar toward the runway. Following the ATC clearance to proceed, the stop bar is turned off and the lead-on lights are turned on.

Taxiway edge lights are spaced 75 feet apart. These lights can be closer together at taxiway intersections. On straight segments, Taxiway Centerline Lights are spaced at either 50 or 100 foot intervals depending on the minimum authorized visibility. On curved taxiway segments, Taxiway Centerline Lights may be required to be closer together.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Airplanes: At what speed do planes generally taxi?". February 9, 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  2. ^ John Cox (November 23, 2014). "Ask the Captain: Making time on the taxiways". USA Today. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "FAA Advisory Circular No: 150/5340-1J March 31, 2008 – Standards for Airport Markings". Retrieved January 1, 2018. (canceled and replaced by150/5340-1K)
  4. ^ "AIP Israel Amendment 2.5-1". December 16, 2010. Retrieved January 1, 2018. (LLBG AD 2.9 Surface Movement Guidance and Control System and Markings)
  5. ^ AC 150/5340-30D, Page 19, Table 4-1.

External links

Air Canada Flight 759

On July 7, 2017, an Airbus A320-211 operating as Air Canada Flight 759 was nearly involved in an accident at San Francisco International Airport in San Mateo County, California, United States. The flight, which originated at Toronto Pearson International Airport, had been cleared by air traffic control to land on San Francisco's runway 28R and was on final approach to land on that runway; however, instead of lining up with the runway, the aircraft had lined up with a parallel taxiway on which four fully loaded and fueled passenger airplanes were stopped awaiting takeoff clearance. The flight crew initiated a go-around prior to landing, after which it landed without further incident. The aircraft on the taxiway departed for their intended destinations without further incident. The subsequent investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the Air Canada airplane descended to 59 feet (18 m) above the ground before it began its climb, and that it missed colliding with one of the aircraft on the taxiway by 14 feet (4.3 m).

The NTSB determined the probable cause was the Air Canada flight crew's confusion of the runway with the parallel taxiway, with contributing causes including the crew's failure to use the instrument landing system (ILS), as well as pilot fatigue. A retired pilot stated the runway confusion that almost happened "probably came close to the greatest aviation disaster in history" as five airplanes and potentially over 1,000 passengers were at imminent risk.

Aircraft bridge

Aircraft bridges, including taxiway bridges and runway bridges, bring aircraft traffic over motorways, railways, and waterways, and must be designed to support the heaviest aircraft that may cross them.

In 1963, a taxiway bridge at Chicago O'Hare Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, was planned to handle future aircraft weighing 365,000 pounds (166,000 kg), but aircraft weights doubled within two years of its construction. Currently, the largest passenger aircraft in the world, the Airbus A380, has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 575 t (1,268,000 lb).

The largest Boeing planes, i.e. the current "Project Ozark" versions of the Boeing 747-8, are approaching MTOW of greater than 1,000,000 lb (450,000 kg). Aircraft bridges must be designed for the substantial forces exerted by aircraft braking, affecting the lateral load in substructure design. Braking force of 70 percent of the live load is assumed in two recent taxiway bridge designs. And "deck design is more apt to be controlled by punching shear than flexure due to the heavy wheel loads."Taxiway bridges are unusually wide relative to their length, and aircraft loading cannot be assumed to be distributed evenly to a bridge superstructure's web, so different modeling is required in these bridges' structural design. In cold climates, provisions for anti-icing must be made. In the U.S., regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration must be met. And there are various other differences versus typical bridges covered by AASHTO standards.A major issue is that closing an airport for construction even temporarily is impossible.

Major alternatives considered for construction of a taxiway bridge in 2008 were:

use of precast, prestressed concrete I-girders

use of precast, prestressed concrete box girders

use of steel girders

cast-in-place, post-tensioned concrete box girder bridge.Finite Element Analysis has been advocated for, or applied in, taxiway bridge design since at least 1963.

Airport apron

The airport apron, apron, flight line, or ramp, is the area of an airport where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refueled, or boarded. Although the use of the apron is covered by regulations, such as lighting on vehicles, it is typically more accessible to users than the runway or taxiway. However, the apron is not usually open to the general public and a permit may be required to gain access. By extension, the term "apron" is also used to identify the air traffic control position responsible for coordinating movement on this surface at busier airports.

The use of the apron may be controlled by the apron management service (apron control or apron advisory) to provide coordination between the users.

The apron is designated by the ICAO as not being part of the maneuvering area. All vehicles, aircraft and people using the apron are referred to as apron traffic.

Chokurdakh Airport

Chokurdakh Airport (sometimes written Chokurdah Airport, Cokurdah Airport) (IATA: CKH, ICAO: UESO) is an airport in Yakutia, Russia located 1 km north of Chokurdakh. It is a major airfield handling small transport aircraft. Google Earth imagery shows a taxiway network on the north side, a feature not common to Russian civilian airports.

Continental Airlines Flight 1883

Continental Airlines Flight 1883 was a Boeing 757 that mistakenly landed on a taxiway at Newark Liberty International Airport on the evening of October 28, 2006. There were no reported injuries or damage, but the narrowly averted disaster was investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, and caused the Federal Aviation Administration to reevaluate and modify air and ground safety procedures at and around Newark Airport.

Datong Huairen Airport

Datong Huairen Airport or Huairen Air Base, located in Huairen County, is a People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLA-AF) installation near the Fen River, 43 km (27 mi) south of the city of Datong, in northern Shanxi province, China. It is located in the PLA Beijing Military Region. It formerly served as the main public airport for Datong until replaced by the newly built Datong Yungang Airport in 2006.

It is the headquarters of the PLA-AF 15th Fighter Division which operates Chengdu J-7 fighters and Nanchang Q-5 ground attack aircraft.

Satellite imagery of the site shows a single 10,500 foot runway oriented NE/SW and a full length parallel taxiway connected to revetments at either end of the field.

Jack Browns Seaplane Base

Jack Browns Seaplane Base (FAA LID: F57) is a public-use seaplane base located 3 nautical miles (5.56 km) northwest of the central business district of Winter Haven in Polk County, Florida, United States. It is located on the northeast shore of Lake Jessie, which is part of the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes. The privately owned seaplane base is located adjacent to Winter Haven's Gilbert Airport and connected to it by an asphalt taxiway.

Krechevitsy Airport

Krechevits is an air base located 11 km northeast of Veliky Novgorod, Russia (near Krechevitsy). It contains 30 large revetments in a sprawling taxiway pattern, suitable for large transports. It was home to 110 VTAP (110th Military Transport Aviation Regiment), of the 61st Air Army, flying Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft. However, 110 VTAP was disbanded in 2009.A construction of a civil international airport based on the military facility was scheduled to be completed by summer 2009, to coincide with 1150th anniversary of Veliky Novgorod. The completion of reconstruction has been postponed multiple times since, with 2012 currently set as an approximate date.

Mathilda Batlayeri Airport

Mathilda Batlayeri Airport (Indonesian: Bandar Udara Mathilda Batlayeri) (IATA: SXK, ICAO: WAPI) is an airport located in Amfutu, Tumbur Village, Wertamrian district (near the town of Saumlaki), Tanimbar Islands Regency, Maluku, Indonesia. The airport replaced the old Olilit Airport to the south, which has fallen into disuse. The airport is named after Mathilda Batlayeri, a heroine originating from Tanimbar Islands who died at South Kalimantan in 1953 while fighting the Darul Islam rebel movement. Construction of the airport started in 2005. The airport began operation on 9 May 2014 after years of delay of construction of the airport. The airport currently can only accommodate airplanes up to the ATR-72, since the runway currently only has a length of 1.850 m. However, the government is planning to extend the runway to 2,500 m in 2019. The runway would also be widened to 45 m from the current 30 m <. This would allow the airport to accommodate larger aircraft such as the Boeing 737, Fokker 100 and the Airbus A320.The airport currently has a single taxiway measuring 110 m x 15 m and an apron measuring 152 m x 75 m. The current terminal has an area measuring 1,440 m2. In the master plan, the airport terminal would be expanded to 4,000 m2 and on the next phase it would be expanded further to 7,000 m2. The airport's apron and taxiway would also be widened to accommodate larger aircraft.

Paphos International Airport

Paphos International Airport (Greek: Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Πάφου; Turkish: Baf Uluslararası Havaalanı) (IATA: PFO, ICAO: LCPH) is a joint civil-military public airport located 6.5 km (4.0 mi) southeast of the city of Paphos, Cyprus. It is the country's second largest airport, after Larnaca International Airport (although it is important to note that Cyprus only has three functioning civilian airports). Paphos Airport is commonly used by tourists on vacation in western Cyprus, providing access to popular resorts such as Coral Bay, Limassol (about 50 km (31 mi) south-east) and Paphos itself.

The official name of the military airbase is "Andreas Papandreou".

Port Hedland International Airport

Port Hedland International Airport (IATA: PHE, ICAO: YPPD) is an airport serving Port Hedland, Western Australia. The airport is 5 nautical miles (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) south-east of Port Hedland and 11 km (6.8 mi) from South Hedland and is owned by the Town of Port Hedland Council. It is an important airport for passengers who work in the mining industry.

The airport has undergone a number of upgrades. Stage one of works include the extension of an existing taxiway and installation of new lighting, the construction of a new taxiway, widening of taxiway intersections and the extension of the domestic and international arrivals and departures area. This was to be completed by the end of July 2011. A further upgrade occurred in 2013.Between 2008 and 2014, passenger movements more than doubled as a result of increased fly-in fly-out activity to the Pilbara during the mining boom.

Virgin Australia Regional Airlines previously operated flights to Denpasar which were suspended in 2014, the Denpasar flight resumed on 4 April 2015 and is operated by Virgin Australia.In July 2015, the Town of Port Hedland agreed to lease the airport to AMP Capital and Infrastructure Capital Group for 50 years. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.


According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a runway is a "defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and takeoff of aircraft". Runways may be a man-made surface (often asphalt, concrete, or a mixture of both) or a natural surface (grass, dirt, gravel, ice, sand or salt). Runways, as well as taxiways and ramps, are sometimes referred to as “tarmac,” though very few runways are built using tarmac.

Selaparang Airport

Selaparang Airport (IATA: AMI, ICAO: WADA), was the sole airport serving the island of Lombok and the city of Mataram, the capital of the province of West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia until its closure on 30 September 2011. The IATA code AMI came from the nearby port of Ampenan, now a part of Mataram. The airport was operated by PT. Angkasa Pura 1 (PERSERO). The new Lombok International Airport operated under the AMI IATA code until late November 2011, toward the end of the month the IATA code LOP was formally listed for the new airport and was slowly being transitioned by the airlines operating to Lombok.

Selaparang Airport was closed on 30 September 2011 to facilitate transfer of resources and operations to the new Lombok International Airport (Bandara Internasional Lombok - BIL) (IATA: LOP, ICAO: WADL) in Central Lombok Regency.

Svetlogorsk Airport

Svetlogorsk Airport (ICAO: UOIG) is an airport in Krasnoyarskiy, Russia located 11 km south of Svetlogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai. It handles small transport aircraft. The airport has an extremely spartan layout with one perpendicular taxiway to the parking area.

Ternopil Airport

Ternopil International Airport (also known as Ternopol Airport) (IATA: TNL, ICAO: UKLT) is an airport in Ukraine located 8 km southeast of Ternopil. It services medium-sized airliners. The airport is relatively small and has a simple taxiway/tarmac layout owing to its size.

The airport does not currently have any scheduled flights, the last one being a Ternopil-Kiev-Zhuliany route operated by Motor Sich Airlines from May 31 till July 2, 2010.

Ulyanovsk Vostochny Airport

Ulyanovsk Vostochny Airport (sometimes referred to as Ul'yanovsk or Ulyanovsk Northeast) (IATA: ULY, ICAO: UWLW) is an airport in Russia located 28 kilometres (17 mi) northeast of Ulyanovsk in Russia. Its runway is the third longest public use runway in the world with a length of 5,000 metres (16,000 ft). The runway is also the widest, with a total width of about 105 metres (344 ft). The airport also features a very long taxiway that connects to the local Aviastar plant.

This airport is mainly a cargo airport. It was founded in 1983 as a test site for the neighbouring Aviastar plant. It is a base for Volga-Dnepr Airlines. Also located here is Aviastar-SP, the manufacturer of the Antonov An-124 and Tupolev Tu-204.

In March 2012 Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov offered Ulyanovsk Vostochny Airport for NATO use as a hub for non-lethal cargo and for ferrying personnel, which set off protests and criticisms among the populace.

Ust-Kamchatsk Airport

Ust-Kamchatsk Airport (ICAO: UHPK) is an airport in Kamchatka Krai, Russia located ten kilometers east of Ust-Kamchatsk. It is a medium-sized airfield handling small transport planes. The taxiway and apron configurations suggest possible military use in past, though the substandard runway length suggests it is not of significant military importance.

Youks-les-Bains Airfield

Youks-les-Bains Airfield is an abandoned military airfield in Algeria, located about 20 km northwest of Tebessa. The airfield today consists of several agricultural fields, with the faint remains of its main runway, parts of a taxiway and a few aircraft dispersal hardstands visible in aerial photography.


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