AIRPORT INTRODUCTION - PART 1

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AIRPORT INTRODUCTION - PART 1

Bài gửi  khoatd on 29/7/2008, 11:55

Introduction

Airport, transportation center used for the landing and takeoff of aircraft. Airports provide transportation not only for people but also for freight, such as mail, perishable foods, and other important items.

An airport is composed of several areas and structures that are designed to serve the needs of both aircraft and passengers. Runways are the long, narrow areas where airplanes take off and land. Taxiways are paths that aircraft follow from the runways to the terminal building, where passengers board and exit aircraft at areas called gates located within the terminal. The terminal also contains ticket and baggage counters. The control tower is located near the terminal. From this tower, people involved in air traffic control coordinate aircraft movement both in the air and on the ground. Maintenance and refueling facilities for aircraft are located near the runways or in nearby hangars. For security purposes, access to major airports is usually limited to special roads. Many airports have large automobile parking areas or multistory ramps to accommodate travelers.

Airports are among the busiest transportation centers. The business they create is vital to the world economy and individual national economies. In the United States, over 500 airports provide airline passenger service to about 600 million people annually. These airports also handle about 15 million metric tons of air cargo each year. Canada’s 26 airports in its National Airport System provide service to about 60 million passengers annually. The total annual economic impact of U.S. airports is estimated at over $500 billion. This value includes the price of airfares purchased by passengers, the salaries of airline and airport employees, taxes, and indirect earnings from related businesses and industries. Airports are so important economically that many companies will not locate factories or offices in cities that do not have an adequate airport.

The busiest passenger airports in the world are Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago-O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, near Dallas, Texas; and Heathrow Airport in London, England.

Types of Airports

Airports differ in size and layout depending on their function and the types of aircraft that use them. There are three major types of airports: military airports, general aviation airports, and commercial airports. Military airports have one or two paved runways, generally 3,000 to 4,600 m (10,000 to 15,000 ft) long. These airports are used only by military aircraft.

General aviation airports, which cater to small civilian aircraft, are smaller than commercial airports. They are often found in rural areas or in small towns. General aviation airports have one or two runways from 900 to 1,500 m (3,000 to 5,000 ft) long. Some runways at general aviation airports are paved, but many are simply grass-covered paths. Facilities vary widely at general aviation airports, depending on the size of the airport.

Commercial airports are used by airlines. These airports may be small or large. Small commercial airports have one or two runways from 1,800 to 2,400 m (6,000 to 8,000 ft) long and can accommodate larger aircraft than general aviation airports can. Large commercial airports serve the world’s major cities. They usually have pairs of parallel runways from 3,000 to 3,700 m (10,000 to 12,000 ft) in length. Airports approved as destinations for flights from other countries are known as international airports.

Airport Operations

Commercial airports are designed to transfer passengers and freight to and from aircraft. In order to accomplish this transfer as efficiently and as safely as possible, airport operations are grouped into four general areas: aircraft services, passenger and freight services, support services, and airport security. Aircraft services focus on the flight, maintenance, and refueling of aircraft at the airport, as well as on air traffic control around the airport. Passenger services are centered in the terminal building, where passengers purchase tickets, load and retrieve baggage, and enter and exit aircraft. Terminals are designed in a variety of ways depending on the needs and size of a given airport. Airports also provide many support services indirectly related to air travel, such as restaurants, shops, parking, and aircraft emergency services. Finally, airport security involves ensuring the safety of passengers and aircraft by screening passengers and their luggage for weapons or explosives.

Aircraft Services

The primary requirement of aircraft at an airport is an adequate runway. The runway of an airport allows aircraft to land at and take off from the airport. Airport runways are arranged to permit the maximum number of safe takeoffs and landings in all weather conditions. Runway designs at airports differ according to the type of aircraft the runway serves, the prevailing wind direction and speed, and the availability of land. Environmental factors such as nearby wildlife or obstructions to navigation such as mountains must also be considered when building runways.

Many airports have more than one runway. Parallel runways at civilian airports must be separated by at least 1,300 m (4,300 ft) if simultaneous approaches are to be allowed on both runways. If runways are closer together than that, aircraft landings and takeoffs must be staggered to ensure that a safe degree of separation exists between aircraft during flight. Good design practices require each runway to have a parallel taxiway so aircraft can enter or leave the runway as directly as possible. Taxiways are short paths followed by aircraft that connect the runways to an area called the apron, which surrounds the terminal gates. When an airplane lands, it moves from the runway to the taxiway, so that other aircraft can use the runway. Aircraft preparing to take off wait on the taxiway until the runway is clear. To aid in night landings and increase visibility in foul weather, runways are lit with white edge lights and taxiways are lined with blue edge lights.

The control tower is a structure located at or near the terminal. It manages all air traffic at the airport. The tower is centrally located and elevated so that an unobstructed view of the airport can be maintained from the tower at all times. Controllers inside the tower issue taxiing instructions to guide aircraft both to and from the runways and ensure that aircraft do not land or take off until the runways are clear.

At larger airports, smaller additional towers are staffed by airline employees who control the ground operations of the airlines they work for. The airline tower staff manages the flow of ground vehicles and aircraft in the immediate vicinity of the terminal building. It also coordinates baggage, fuel, and food service. Other airline employees provide pilots with final flight information, such as the passenger list and the latest weather information.

Ground crews working on the apron area near the gates help maintain aircraft in between flights. They load baggage, restock food and other supplies, perform routine maintenance, and refuel aircraft. Fuel is normally stored in large tanks above ground and transported to aircraft either by underground pumping facilities or by refueling trucks. Repair facilities range from small facilities housed in a single hangar to large complexes that employ thousands of trained maintenance technicians. In cold climates, ground crews also work to keep runways and aircraft free of snow and ice.

Passenger Services

The airport terminal building provides all major passenger services, such as ticket sales, passenger check-in, baggage handling, and security. Inside the terminal, airline employees make flight reservations for travelers, issue seat assignments, and coordinate aircraft boarding. Baggage systems in the terminal distribute the luggage from each arriving flight and place the bags on large rotating carousels, where passengers reclaim their belongings. International airports also maintain customs and immigration areas for foreign travelers.

All major terminals provide the same services, but a terminal can be organized in several different ways. The four different types of terminals are gate arrival, pier, satellite, and transporter. Each type connects passengers with aircraft in different ways.

Gate arrival terminals are rectangular buildings that have aircraft parking on one side and have motor-vehicle parking as well, often on the opposite side of the terminal. Simple gate arrival terminals are the most common type of terminal found at small airports. Aircraft simply park alongside the terminal, and passengers walk across the apron to board the aircraft. Large commercial airports use gate arrival terminals also. At most commercial airport gate terminals, such as at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, aircraft pull up directly to the terminal at predetermined areas called gates. Flexible covered pathways called airbridges connect the gate to the aircraft and allow passengers to board and exit the aircraft.

Pier terminals have piers that extend outward like arms from a central building and provide boarding gates on both sides of each pier for its entire length. Each pier is known as a concourse. Pier terminals provide efficient use of space, since common facilities can be located in the central building instead of at each gate. If a given airline has use of nearby gates, or an entire pier, then passengers transferring to other flights may not have far to walk. Pier terminals are in use at Los Angeles International Airport, Heathrow Airport in London, and Toronto International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Satellite terminals also provide common facilities at a centralized building. However, passengers need not walk the length of a pier. Instead, transportation to gate areas is provided by buses or by automated rail systems such as people movers. Satellite terminals are often circular in layout and provide aircraft parking around their entire perimeter. They have many of the same characteristics of pier terminals. Satellite terminals are in use at Houston Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, and Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida.

Transporter terminals use a common building for the processing of passengers, who then board specialized vehicles known as mobile lounges that ferry passengers directly from the gate to the aircraft and back. Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., pioneered this concept. Transporter terminals work well for passengers on direct flights but are inconvenient for passengers who are transferring to other flights, since they cannot simply walk to their connecting aircraft’s gate. Nevertheless, the flexibility of transporter terminal systems has made them popular at airports that have experienced rapid growth. The operators of such airports often find it easier to drive passengers to parked aircraft than to build an expensive new terminal. Since most airports were built decades ago, the majority of terminals have been modified and expanded as the airports have grown. Many airports use a combination of terminal designs. One of the best examples is John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

khoatd
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Lớp 11

Tổng số bài gửi : 98
Location : Noibai Airport
Registration date : 29/10/2007

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