Looking for help with runways/taxiways at Sean Bond Intl. Airport

Posted by Ernestpcosby on 7 January 2017 in English (English)

In the process of slowly fixing up Quentinsburgh, I spent some time trying to make Sean Bond International Airport more realistic.

This is what it used to look like:

This is what it used to look like

And this is what it looks like now:

While I'm quite proud of the terminal improvements, as well as improvements to the transit center, rental car center, hotels and surrounding parking, I do also know that a lot still needs to be done. The runways are still pretty unrealistic, and I'm struggling a bit to figure out a realistic way to fix them in such a small space. Airports aren't exactly my strongsuit.

Would anyone be willing to try to help me rework the runways to make this airport work better? The only space I'm able to clear out for more/extended runways/space is the area here: and I really don't want to have to change much of the terminals nor the surrounding airport related areas. Also, at least one taxiway will also have to be accessible from the military base by way of the existing FAF ramp here.

Any help and/or volunteers would be greatly appreciated.

Comment from joschi81 on 7 January 2017 at 11:18

Hi Ernestpcosby,

I think it looks quite good already. However, although not being a complete airport expert, I propose some changes, described in detail below so that you can hopefully do the changes by yourself. If you wish, I can also help you with the re-drawing.

Distance between runways and parallel taxiways

If you look around in OSM, you will find out that the minimum distance between runways and parallel taxiways normally is approx. 200 meters. In your case it's 100 meters or even a bit less in many cases. I think it is important to change this.

Position and number of parallel taxiways

Parallel taxiways are normally only present at the "apron side" of the runways. Thus, in most cases the are only located at one side of the runways, pointing to the terminals, aprons or hangars. Also, two parallel taxiways at one side of a runway exist, but normally only at crucial positions/sections near the terminals/aprons, not along the full length of a runway. Also, the distance between parallel taxiways never should be less than 120 meters. I think you can delete some parallel taxiways, especially the one in the north-west (parallel to Horizon Parkway).

Distance between airport territory boundary and taxiways/runways

Make sure there are at least 100 meters distance ("meadow") between taxiways and the edge of the airport area (at least 200 meters in case of a runway parralel to the airport boundary). Also, make sure there never are buildings or roads closer than approx. 300 meters to the end of a runway. Especially, your southern runway does not have enough space to the south and to the west and the eastern one of the parallel runways has far too less space to the south. (I think you should remove this runway completely to gain more "realistic" space for the other three.)

General concept of taxiways

Make nice curves instead of right angles, look at some airports in OGF to see what type of curves are realistic. Look at the "interval" of connecting taxiways between runways and parallel taxiways (and never use aeroway=runway for these connectors, always aeroway=taxiway). Keep in mind the taxiways never have dead ends (except near to parking positions at aprons in some cases).

General concept of runways

In most cases, airports that have more than one runway have either completely parallel runways or runways with significantly different orientations (so that usage depends on current wind directions). I think, you should make the two "almost" parallel runways to the north-west and the south-east of your terminal area 100% parallel, define these two runways as the main runways of your airport (with minimum lengths of 3800 meters) and use the same taxiway (mirrored) layout for these two runways (with a parallel taxiway to the inner (terminal) side of the runways and regular connectors between runways and taxiways. move the eastern one of these to more to the north-east, so that it has enough space to the southern edge of the airport. As you need more space for this one especially in the east, I think you need to cut a part of the military base. And then: Remove the southern runway! It would need too much more space to be realistic.

General concept of terminals and aprons

It's complicated to give a "formula" for terminal and apron layout. But if you look at Schiphol for example, you see that a terminal layout building with many "noses" requires approx. 250 meters between them. You have less than 100 meters in some cases. Have in mind that these noses are used to gain more parking spaces with direct terminal access and that they are not useful when they are too small. Cosinder removing some of the "noses" and enlarge the others.

And in general, you should enlarge the aprons around your terminal area. You could move all runways next to the terminals a bit further away and use the space you gain from removing the southern runway. Moving the other runways would meanthat you must remove Horizon industrial distrcit maybe and move Terminal D area a bit more to the north-east.

Add ref values to runways and taxiways

Add ref=XX to runways and taxiways. Taxiways are normally "numbered" with letters or one-letter-one-number combinations. The ref values for runways are always the forst two digits of the two degree values of the runway orientation (e.g. "09/27" for an east-western runway). Two parallel eas-west runways would have "09L/27R" for the northern one and "09R/27L" for the southern one. I think in OSM/OGF airports look much more realistic with the refs added.

My most detailed airport in OGF so far is Forberg-Golbrünn airport.

Happy mapping and best regards!


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Comment from joschi81 on 7 January 2017 at 11:23

Oh, I did not check out the wonderful airport help page in the Wiki before writing my detailed comment.

See here

I hope there are no complete contradictions between what I wrote and what's included in the article. ;)

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Comment from UN1TY on 7 January 2017 at 11:38

Your progress on improving Sean Bond airport looks pretty good with lots of attention to details. I especially like your terminals.

SFO (San Francisco International Airport) has a similar layout to Sean Bond, so it can be useful to refer to for runway and taxiway planning. I’ve found a couple of things which you could do to improve your runway/taxiway layout, based on the SFO design:

First, you can loop taxiways around the edges of the runways to prevent planes from crossing them after landing. For example, you can see at SFO how the taxiway Z routes around runways 10L/28R and 10R/28L. You could create space for this by shortening the runway length. From what I’m seeing, you runway 05L/23R (northeast-southwest) is well over 2 miles long, plus you have the additional space on the northeast end.

I would also recommend eliminating runway 09/27 (east-west), unless the prevailing winds are from the west. This is mainly because it’s too close to the Geolympiad site, and also it would free up a lot of space. Once you’ve done that, you can shorten runway 14/32 (northwest-southeast) to about 10,000 ft and run a loop taxiway around that. I would keep 1,000 ft between the loop and the runway end.

Second, you can include Rapid Exit Taxiways similar to taxiways Q and T at SFO. This allows planes to travel at over 50 knots while exiting the runway (though in most cases they’ll be slower, around 30 knots). This helps reduce congestion.

I hope this will be helpful to you and I look forward to seeing the results.


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Comment from wangi on 11 January 2017 at 00:40

Something like this, very rough plan, would work:


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