WHAT DO THE NUM­BERS ON A RUN­WAY STAND FOR?

World of Knowledge (Australia) - - History -

The num­bers on ev­ery run­way in the world are based on a mag­netic com­pass bear­ing. The fig­ures in­di­cate the di­rec­tion of ap­proach in re­la­tion to the mag­netic pole. If a run­way has a mag­netic ori­en­ta­tion of 183 de­grees, for ex­am­ple, it will be marked with the num­ber 18. For that rea­son, run­ways are al­ways num­bered be­tween 01 and 36. How­ever, be­cause the Earth’s mag­netic field is on the move, air­ports fre­quently have to change the num­bers on their taxi­ways. “If the mag­netic field lines move so that the ap­proach di­rec­tion is 186 de­grees, the run­way num­ber would be changed to 19,” ex­plains avi­a­tion ex­pert Jörg Handw­erg.

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