F-22 Raptors taxiing at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, USA
F-22 Raptors taxiing at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, USA
Aircraft taxiing to runway, at Dubai Airport
Aircraft taxiing to runway, at Dubai Airport
A taxiway crossing the Autobahn
A taxiway crossing the Autobahn

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.

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]

High-speed exit

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 accomplished by reducing the angle the exiting taxiway intercepts the runway at to 30 degrees, instead of 90 degrees, thus increasing the speed at which the aircraft can exit the runway onto the taxiway.[3]

Markings

Taxiway at Munich Airport
Taxiway at Munich Airport
A newly painted Runway Holding Position Marking at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (KBJC)
A newly painted Runway Holding Position Marking at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (KBJC)

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

Signs

The signs can often be combined, in this case a direction sign, a location sign, and a runway sign
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

Location sign for a taxiway
Direction sign to taxiway Bravo
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.
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

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.

Lights

Taxiway edge light
Taxiway edge light
Taxiway lights
Taxiway lights
Taxiway lights
Taxiway lights
Taxiways at Atlanta Airport
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 are spaced at a minimum of 50 to a maximum of 200 feet apart. On straightaways the spacing is typically 200 feet.

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.[6]

See also

References

  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 TV: High Speed Exit Taxiways". www.faa.gov. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  4. ^ "FAA Advisory Circular No: 150/5340-1J March 31, 2008 – Standards for Airport Markings". Retrieved January 1, 2018. (canceled and replaced by150/5340-1K)
  5. ^ "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)
  6. ^ [1], Page 2-7, Table 2-1.

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/150-5340-30J.pdf