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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.
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.
How safe do you feel on an Airport runway?
This article is written as an inspiration from Ann's challenge, which can be found here: http://hubpages.com/literature/TAKE-A-WORD-LET-Etymology-Definition-let-as-a-Suffix-a-Story