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Runway Width, What Determines It?  
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3334 posts, RR: 9
Posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 8488 times:

After Traveling more and more as well as playing quite a bit of FSX (which is accurate for this) what determines the width of a runway at a specific airport.

My guess would have been the size of the traffic (or number of movement) that operates there but looking at Canada most runways at airports that handle a good amount of Commercial jets all have 200 ft wide runways.

Where as airports that are far busier than YYZ and handle larger traffic (as an example) such as LAX, LHR, SYD all have runways that are 150 ft wide. So that leads me to believe a 150 foot runway is wide enough to land basically anything, so what would the point be of spending more money to make a runway 25% bigger when runway length is what it critical to handling large traffic.


What factors determine this (the only thing I can think of is the age of the runway as the newer ones tend to be wider)?


Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24075 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 8485 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Thread starter):
Where as airports that are far busier than YYZ and handle larger traffic (as an example) such as LAX, LHR, SYD all have runways that are 150 ft wide.

However many 150 ft. runways at major airports also have fairly wide paved shoulders to reduce debris ingestion etc. I'm fairly sure that's the case at LHR for example.

Quite a few runways at air force bases in the US, especially those handling aircraft like B-52s etc, have been 300 ft. wide, for example Minot AFB, North Dakota (B-52 base). Runway is 13,197 x 300 ft.
http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&sourc...+Ward,+North+Dakota+58704&t=h&z=13


User currently offlineetherealsky From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8467 times:

Barksdale AFB is a second example of a 300' wide runway as it is B-52 base. An interesting piece of info that I just noticed on Airnav regarding 15/33:


FIRST 1184' RWY 15 AND FIRST 1600' RWY 33 IS CONCRETE. MIDDLE 8972' IS ASPHALT WITH FIRST 3000' AT EA END HAVING A 75' WIDE CONCRETE KEEL SFC IN CNTR AND THE MID 2972' HAVING A 50' CONCRETE KEEL SFC.


You can clearly see that reinforced concrete 'keel':
http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&sourc...,+Ward,+North+Dakota+58704&ie=UTF8



"And that's why you always leave a note..."
User currently offlinewoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 978 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8282 times:

In the US, the FAA dictates the standards for airport design, construction and certification

Runway standards (of which runway width is one) are based on:

airplane design group (Groups I to VI)
aircraft approach speed. (Category A to E)
and
approach visibility minimums

In the context you're asking, airplane design groups III, IV, V, and VI (which cover most narrowbody and wide-body mainline aircraft), is what is driving the 150ft and 200ft runway widths.

The following info is from the FAA's airport design standards

Aircraft Design Groups

Group III - A318/319/320/321 727 737 DC9 Concorde TU134/144 DHC-7 DHC-8 BAE-146
Group IV - A300/A310 757 767 L1011 DC8 DC10 MD11 TU-154 IL-86
Group V - A330 A340 747 777 AN-22 B52
Group VI - AN-124 A380 C-5

Minimum Runway Width

100ft - Group III aircraft
150ft - Group IV and V aircraft
200ft - Group VI aircraft

For more info you can go to the FAA's website www.faa.gov and click under Airports and Engineering Design & Construction and then Design Standards.

So would an airport authority spend extra money to have extra wide pavements - probably not - it's not required by the design standards or for certification, but at the very minimum, you'd have to make the airport (and by association runway) large enough for the largest airplane you'd anticipate operating out of your airport.

Hope that helps.



Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6264 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8252 times:

As I understand it,

one of the reasons that the main runway at AMA was kept at 300' width is because it was a designated alternate landing strip for the Space Shuttle... (well, as well as being a former B-36 Air Force base   ).



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8199 times:

For the rest of the world the recommendation on runway widths is given in ICAO Annex 14, §3.1.10.

Cheers,
Fred



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlinee38 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 300 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8135 times:

Quoting woodreau (Reply 3):

Group VI - AN-124 A380 C-5

200ft - Group VI aircraft

Steve
Do these minimum runway specifications just involve the design and not actual operation? Or, does the FAA grant waivers for certain operations?

I have seen C-5s taking off and landing at Memphis International Airport, Runways 36C and 36R and both runways are 150 ft wide.

e38

[Edited 2010-07-29 08:24:02]

User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6680 posts, RR: 46
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 8104 times:

Quoting woodreau (Reply 3):
Group III - A318/319/320/321 727 737 DC9 Concorde TU134/144 DHC-7 DHC-8 BAE-146
Group IV - A300/A310 757 767 L1011 DC8 DC10 MD11 TU-154 IL-86
Group V - A330 A340 747 777 AN-22 B52
Group VI - AN-124 A380 C-5

Minimum Runway Width

100ft - Group III aircraft
150ft - Group IV and V aircraft
200ft - Group VI aircraft

There is an error in this-the B-52. If you try and take off or land a B-52 on a 150' wide runway you will have about 18" clearance on each side for the outrigger gear. A little tight, don't you think? That's why B-52 bases have minimum 200' wide runways, and some of them 300'. The B-52 is the only plane flying where a 300' runway is not overkill.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24075 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 8011 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 7):
There is an error in this-the B-52. If you try and take off or land a B-52 on a 150' wide runway you will have about 18" clearance on each side for the outrigger gear. A little tight, don't you think? That's why B-52 bases have minimum 200' wide runways, and some of them 300'. The B-52 is the only plane flying where a 300' runway is not overkill.

Ulyanovsk-Vostochny airport in Russia (ULY) is often mentioned as having the widest runway at 344 ft. It's also one of the longest at 16,405 ft. (5000m x 105m).
http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&sourc...4447&spn=0.146042,0.44529&t=h&z=12

It was one of the two production sites (as well as Kiev, Ukraine) for the Antonov 124 and, should it go back into production, it will again be built there. The Tu-204 (but not Tu-214) is also built at ULY which is the headquarters of Aviastar SP.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6680 posts, RR: 46
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7946 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 8):
It was one of the two production sites (as well as Kiev, Ukraine) for the Antonov 124 and, should it go back into production, it will again be built there. The Tu-204 (but not Tu-214) is also built at ULY which is the headquarters of Aviastar SP.

But does the AN-124 have outriggers? I didn't think it did; I thought they went out with the B-52.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7937 times:

Another thing to bear in mind is that many runways may be very wide yet the usable surface may be much much narrower. I've landed on more than a few 300ft runways, yet the usable marked surface is only 150ft wide. Sacramento Mather airport is one that comes to mind. It was a former B52 base.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...869&spn=0.006284,0.013937&t=h&z=17


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24075 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7751 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 9):
But does the AN-124 have outriggers? I didn't think it did; I thought they went out with the B-52.

No. As far as I know the An-124 can operate on 150 ft. runways.


User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2628 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7702 times:

Quoting e38 (Reply 6):
Quoting woodreau (Reply 3):

Group VI - AN-124 A380 C-5

200ft - Group VI aircraft

Steve
Do these minimum runway specifications just involve the design and not actual operation? Or, does the FAA grant waivers for certain operations?

I believe there are waivers granted. There are quite a few pictures in the DB where the A380 is on final for 24R in LAX which is 150 feet wide.

I'm willing to guess that the width requirement has something to do with the aircraft's ability to make a U-turn on the runway.


User currently offlinejetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1616 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7582 times:
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At one time McDill Air Force Base in Tampa had a 500 foot wide runway, it was designed when McDill was a B-47 SAC base and their B-47’s used to take off in formation, 2 at a time.

I was sitting in the cockpit jump seat of a KC-97 when we landed there in the late 1960’s, the pilot told me they were landing towards the left side of the runway because if they landed on the centerline, because of the extra width of the runway they had a depth perception problem, the B-47’s were already gone, but they still had the extra wide runway.

When I fly into TPA and they make the approach from the south, the Air Force has narrowed down the runway at McDill to the standard width, but you can still see the outline of the extra wide runway, it can even be seen on Google Earth.

JetStar


User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8494 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7565 times:

Quoting jetstar (Reply 13):
At one time McDill Air Force Base in Tampa had a 500 foot wide runway, it was designed when McDill was a B-47 SAC base and their B-47’s used to take off in formation, 2 at a time.

That is a heckuva lot of concrete and filler material.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6680 posts, RR: 46
Reply 15, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 7537 times:

Quoting bohica (Reply 12):
I'm willing to guess that the width requirement has something to do with the aircraft's ability to make a U-turn on the runway.

Isn't it also to keep the engines over tarmac instead of over grass, so as to reduce the likelihood of picking up debris?



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
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