F-22 Raptors taxiing at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, US
Aircraft taxiing to runway, at Dubai Airport
A taxiway crossing the Autobahn
Taxiway at Munich Airport
Holding Position Marking on a taxiway at Mumbai Airport
Holding position sign (red sign saying "ILS") and marking (in front of the red plane) for instrument landing system (ILS) critical area boundary

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]


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


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.

Location Sign for a Taxiway
Direction Sign Onto Taxiway Bravo
No Entry Sign

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

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

Operational guidance 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

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.


For night operations, taxiways at major airports are equipped with lights, although many small airports are not equipped with taxiway lighting.

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 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. ^ "Chapter 14: Airport Operations". Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25C ed.). Federal Aviation Administration. 2023-07-17. p. 12.
  6. ^ "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)
  7. ^ [1], Page 2-7, Table 2-1.