StarAC17
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Runway Width, What Determines It?

Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:28 am

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)?
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Viscount724
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:45 am

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
 
etherealsky
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:49 am

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
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Woodreau
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:20 am

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.
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KELPkid
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:56 am

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   ).
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FredT
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:41 am

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

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e38
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:22 pm

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]
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:23 pm

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
 
Viscount724
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:46 pm

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.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:32 am

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
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:04 am

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
 
Viscount724
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:17 pm

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.
 
bohica
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:22 am

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.
 
jetstar
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:45 pm

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
 
MD-90
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:12 pm

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.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Runway Width, What Determines It?

Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:40 pm

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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