Airport Runways. Ann Carr's (Annart) Challenge

Plane Taking Off


The cabin crew followed the captain’s instructions to get ready for take-off. Then sat, fastened their seat belts like the other passengers, as the plane taxied along the runway and took off into the night. The lighting was excellent, forming a luminous outline, or Flared Path along all 8,000 feet (2438 m) of runway, as the plane gathered momentum and lifted smoothly into the vast sky.

For this flight of the fixed-wing aircraft, it was a perfect one, taking off in a manner nearly aligned with the wind, thus reducing take-off roll and allowing an effortless and pleasant ride. Thus another successful flight occurred, as more holiday and business travellers, took off on their various destinations.

But just what is required to ensure such a safe and soaring flight? How is the Airport runway built and who looks after it?

Runway at nights


Airport runways are generally made of concrete or asphalt, or a mixture of both. The safety area is cleared, unimpeded or made free from any obstacles that may hinder flight, or the ground roll of an aircraft. One would normally see many markings, numbers, centrelines as well as the surrounding vehicles and buggies busily going about their work.

There is also a control Centre full of navigation and electronic systems. Its principles and techniques of international air navigation are codified by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. They foster the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.[2]



Noise can be a problem for the surrounding neighbourhood, and many runways are restricted to a certain volume of noise control. An airport runway has ‘end lights’ or lights paired in fours on each side of it and sometimes extending along its full width. It has its own colour code, with a principle similar to what we see at traffic lights on any busy high street.

Airport runway lights tell the pilot when to approach, hold, start or land, etc. And it has to be very particular about length, as the aircraft can overshoot its runway, being unable to stop. Runway incursions can also occur, where a person, aircraft or vehicle can be involved in a runway incident, and the plane itself can also undershoot the Airport runway.



Runway construction can be a very expensive thing, and some are re-enforced for higher loading. This is done by applying an overlay of asphaltic concrete or cement, bonded to the original slab. The surface is usually grooved so that the water film flows into the grooves.

Flights which carry heavier loads, generally need a landing requirement of about 10,000 feet, (3048 metres) at sea level. This make them pretty safe in the event of emergencies such as excess landing speed.

Most airport runways are generally busy, especially in large cities, and one can see the workers filling up with fuel or ferrying passengers to and fro in their buggies or small buses provided by the Airport terminal.

In some ways, it can be a frightening place to be, as runways are really not one hundred percent crash-proof, for the plane just about to take-off or land. Consequently, we do get this sigh of relief from passengers, either upon feeling settled while airborne, or post landing.

Runway at night


An airport runway can be a crowded place, depending on the city, with lots of planes taking off and electronic navigation systems in place on the ground as well as on the plane, to assist or enhance protection. Added to this, the boisterous wind; the cold or aerial hazards, rain and sleet or even diesel, can create tremendous problems.

Still, an Airport runway can be an exciting place to be, to see the jets taking off and the various types of aircrafts coming and going. There is something special about that additional buzz that comes from the rush of energy of the planes taking off, and the eloquence and beauty of the aircraft not only taxiing off, but gliding and soaring into the distant sky.

Some can leave the chores of work behind then, plummeting into the distant past, as the friendly stewards and stewardesses entertain them with drinks, food and wine, as memories get forgotten, for at least another two or three weeks.

Manatita, 26th October, 2016.


Airport Runways

How safe do you feel on an Airport runway?

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Ann's Challenge

This article is written as an inspiration from Ann's challenge, which can be found here:

More by this Author


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 6 weeks ago from Northern California, USA

I enjoy being at airports and in airplanes because it means I am getting ready for an adventure. Even returning from a trip means a new beginning of the life I left behind for the time I was away. I always return home with fresh eyes, seeing things differently, often more clearly. I never thought about how the runway was maintained until now. I learned a lot here.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 6 weeks ago from london Author

Thanks Marlene.

New frontiers for Ann Carr's challenge. Good to write something informative for a change. Thank you so much!

Norine Williams 6 weeks ago

"Informative" HUB? YES! Sure beats the "glorying in men" poems that don't please THE CREATOR!

With all of the knowledge you've acquired in life, why don't you write more of your life experiences? One HUB I'd live to see you write is What is the difference in living in London vs the USA? How do politics, cost of living, restaurants, education, etc. differ from your point of view?

You do have a poetic talent but put it to use in praising GOD; not men! Remember HE SAID "I will NOT share my Glory" (Isaiah 42:8)!


annart profile image

annart 6 weeks ago from SW England

Thanks for your response to my challenge! Lots of interesting information here. Will put your link on my hub.

I hate flying but it is a means to an end after all.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

My answer to the challenge comes tomorrow. Good to see you taking part in it, and doing so well....bravo, my friend. Your creativity shines as bright as your imagination.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 6 weeks ago from london Author

Thanks Norine.

I will leave this one. This is a very kind comment and I appreciate this. Let us be loving. By the way, I glanced briefly at one of your responses to Eric. Are you saying that there are some medical problems? if so, then I feel for you and you have my heartfelt empathy.

If I can help in any way, please let me know via e-mail. Leave Hub comments for comments related to the Hub itself, and also be nice. My friends are good people, so be decent. As humans we are all doing time in one form or another. Let us be nice.

Ha ha Ann,

I worry too, and I have done this over 300 times and in 42 countries! Oh! I remember, you are my closest English rival here for travelling, right? Lanzarote next? I have just returned from a nine-day retreat in Germany. Much Love.

Thanks Bill,

I'm looking forward to this. Thanks for the compliment. Have a great day, Bro!

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Great stuff. What is not to love about people watching in airports and the energy of life there?

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 6 weeks ago from london Author

Yes. Spiritual aspirants are always dynamic people, and yes, there is a great buzz at Airports, I have done several of them. Thank you so much, Bro.

Norine Williams 6 weeks ago

Man: I HAD cancer and am currently undergoing "preventive" chemo but I appreciate your kind gesture!

I wish you all understood that I'm NOT trying to be unkind, but to prevent what GOD SAID would happen; "eternal damnation!" As I've stated before, "I wouldn't want to see my puppy whimper and cry for "eternity" so why would you think I would want to see a "living soul" suffer such?

The "corrective" Measure may APPEAR harsh, unkind, and actions may "seem incorrect," but IT prevents "eternal damnation!"

As I've told Eric before, I realize I have more days behind than I do ahead and I BELIEVE I will have to "stand before the judgment seat of Christ" (II Corinthians 5:10) therefore I would NOT tell anyone, anything I believe to be untrue for I WILL give in account to GOD for EVERYTHING I've told each man! It may seem trivia to you, but that's my belief!

I am looking at GOD TV and something just came on that I must repeat: Hebrews 13:2 "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."



manatita44 profile image

manatita44 6 weeks ago from london Author

Thanks. I'm glad that you took the course of chemo and pray for your well-being. Do you have support? Sometimes, doing something different or talking to friends help. Do not use this Hub but you can write to me via e-mail. It's not good to use a Hub in my view, outside of its stated topic and genre. Once more, all my love. Did you know that I'm a nurse?

The neck line (Portacath) is way better than giving chemo via veins in the hand. Let us pray for one another .

Norine Williams 6 weeks ago

Thanks Man!

LISTEN: It's OVER! I'm HEALED! I have "support" - My Healer - JESUS! I love your concern but GOD is MY EVERYTHING!

Love your thoughtfulness!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

Very informative hub about airport runways in response to Ann's challenge, manatita. Well done.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 6 weeks ago from london Author

Yes. God is all. This is an inner experience coupled with Love and Oneness like that of the Seers. No division possible. So good to hear of your Faith in Him.

Thanks Jodah. Appreciated. I went for the educational and informative for a change.

Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 6 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

Wow! This is a great hub. You have turned the boring subject into an intellectual hub. Great, Manatita!

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 6 weeks ago from london Author

My brother, always so kind. I'm truly touched. Hari Om Tat Sat!

always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

I checked other on the question because I refuse to fly. My fear of heights outweighs my desire for travel. I have flown a lot in the past, even to your part of the world in the 70's. Your hub was informative and well done...

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 6 weeks ago from london Author

Thank you, Ruby. Appreciated. Chuckle ... chuckle. Clicked on yours a couple of times, but it seemed to have dissappeared. Did you withdraw it? Much Love.

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 6 weeks ago from Victoria, Australia

Although I've travelled quite a bit, I still find airports exciting places and really enjoyed reading your article. One of the churches we served in was near an airport and my husband was invited to be a Chaplain there. When they had practices for what to do in emergencies there, he had to attend and we both learned a lot about all the organisation that goes on behind the scenes.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 weeks ago from TEXAS

What an interesting and comprehensive hub, Manatita!

I also checked 'other' but it's because I've always loved to fly and never feared it! However, since the advent of extreme caution and checking for terrorists, a lot of the attraction for flying has dimmed for me. I haven't flown in quite a number of years.

Just today at LaGuardia Airport, a current political candidates' plane jack-knifed on the runway and slid off it. It was shown on TV before passengers were even taken off, since a CNN reporter was aboard and filmed it, from inside to outside.

Thankfully no one was injured but it was a scary ordeal. The plane is a large 737 and the runway is quite short and surrounded by water. It's considered like landing on an aircraft carrier ship! Many years ago I flew into LaGuardia! Not sure I'd want to do that again!

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 6 weeks ago from london Author

Yes, BlossomSB. Quite a lot goes on, apparently. Glad you were able to visit with your husband and to learn a little from behind the scenes. Gratitude.

Yes, Nellieanna, La Guardia feels distant, somehow, like Luton or Gatwick here. Didn't think they would allow reporters to do this. How times have changed! Thank you so much!

MsDora profile image

MsDora 6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

Having read your article, I have more appreciation for the runway than when I took off and landed less than a week ago. More than the excitement of travel, there is all the expert construction and safety planning to consider. You fulfilled the challenge.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 6 weeks ago from london Author

Well thank you mighty fine!

Is that how they say it? A bit like Chicago, is it? Ha ha. Yes, definitely fulfilled it as I stuck to the two words. Not a great Title, though. I guess that's why Ann found it boring. Well, lots of useful info now. Thank you so much, Dee. Are you taking the challenge?

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 weeks ago from TEXAS

Ah, Manatita! No it was not that a reporter was allowed from the outside to report on the accident. The reporter was onboard during the flight and was part of the press contingent traveling on the plane with the candidate on his private plane.

It's a common practice during campaigns to have a press corps of several reporters from various media aboard as candidates travel around, and for the candidates to allow them to interview themselves, even during the flights.

In this instance it was an immediate personal observation about how it felt when the plane started skidding, a first-hand view of the mud on windows, about what the people on the plane said as they responded with relief that no one was hurt and how the runway itself was affected.

Hope that clears up why it was mentioned here on the runway hub.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 6 weeks ago from london Author

Much clearer now, Nellieanna. Of course its a coup of sorts. Don't happen every day for sure! (smile) Much Love.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 weeks ago from TEXAS

Perhaps! (tee hee) Hugs.

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 6 weeks ago from Taos, NM

Interesting and informative hub! You did a great job of taking an airport runway and making it interesting. I didn't know all the ins and outs of a runway. Fortunately, all my plane experiences have been good ones and I have never experienced a problem while on a runway. Knock on wood! Lol!

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 6 weeks ago from london Author

Suzette, Praise be! Let's hope that it's not meant for us. I have travelled so many times! Thank you for your kind support. Taking the challenge?

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 6 weeks ago from Texas

To me, this reads like watching a mini-documentary. You managed to make an ordinary runway sound fascinating. I don't see them often, though. I've only flown when going overseas, except for the flight from Paris to Rome and from Rome back to London. All of the flights I've ever been on have been without incident. I really do not know what it is like to hop a short flight across my own country. I just travel by car. LOL

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 weeks ago from Taos, NM

As a matter of fact, I did take the challenge of watching paint dry! Lol!

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 5 weeks ago from london Author

But you are in Texas, my Sweet. Right? Everyone drives there. It's so hot!!! Worse than home (Grenada, W. I)


Yes, yes, I wrote this one as an informative article by putting things together. Cool, eh? I always say that a writer can do most things (ego me) Ha ha. London, you say? How long for? Come again, then you and I can go to shake Lizzy's hand at the Palace. (smile) Thank you so much!

Thanks Suzette, I will look for it soon. I know why you laugh, it is a strange one, isn't it. Interesting hobby. Bring in the beauty and eloquence of the poet for this one, as well as his/her creative genius.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 5 weeks ago from Texas

I would love to go back to London. I particularly enjoyed it there - to the point I could see myself living there, assuming I had to live smack in the middle of a big city. We stayed at the Plaza on Hyde Park. I believe that was the name of it, and we got around through the subway and by foot mostly. Those taxi drivers drive like they're taking off on an aiport runway!

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 5 weeks ago from london Author

Ha ha ha ha ha. Good one. I even used it in my last Poem! Airport runway, I mean. You will have to look hard to find it, a master coup. Thanks again, shanmarie.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 5 weeks ago


Sitting on the runway does not bother me a bit

But in the air is so scary I could spit

If having car trouble maybe you can pull over to the side

Having plane trouble in the sky

Chances are that you may die


Thanks for the runway info.

Blessings my friend

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 5 weeks ago from london Author

Ha ha. A poetic touch! I really don't blame you and see what you mean. No save haven up there unless you are a parachutist and equipped. (smile) Turbulence makes it even scarier!

Thank you so much Shyron. Hope you have a Happy Divali. Four days left, I believe. Much Love and Higher prayers to you too.

Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 5 weeks ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I happened upon your entry late. From the others that I read, I thought it would be a short story about the runway. As I kept reading I waited for the story to begin right up to the end. I thought all the information you provided was a long introduction for the story.

This was educational. I will not lie and say I liked it at first. I wanted a STORY. I was disappointed, BUT, once I realized what it is I appreciated it. This is one of those evergreen hubs that can appeal to anyone.

If I could vote it up, I would. I find it interesting that you did such a great job and your hub is uniquely beneficial--not just some story we read once. We can reference this for use at any time, or our kids can use it as a learning tool.

I am glad I found it. I am sharing it as an entry in the challenge.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 5 weeks ago from london Author

Thank you, Rodric29. I am a creative writer and frankly I use poems simply because they are easier to relate to and still carry the message of Spirituality. Still, I also write books. Mind you, I really appreciate your input, just sharing, that is all.

When I started seven years ago, I wrote essays and this one comes under essays, I believe. It was deliberate and the message you got at the end was intended. This is a more informative and educational Hub. One does not need to always write a story.

So happy that you found it useful at the end. Much Love.

Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 5 weeks ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I am taking a cue from you and not limiting myself to just one aspect of writing.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 5 weeks ago from london Author

Great! I Love that! Much love. I'll visit you later when I return home.

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