Ground marking (airfield)

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Marking of a runway with an offset threshold.

Ground markings on airfields or markings for short are used to orient aircraft pilots in the air and on the ground. In the “Aerodrome Design And Operation Standards” based on ICAO Annex 14 , the ICAO proposes internationally applicable markings and signals on airfields. These proposals will be incorporated into national law by the member states. As part of airport planning, the floor markings at airfields are planned; the legally valid definition of the markings is usually made by notification .

Runway markings

Runway markings

The runway markings are generally white. Most important here are the markings of the center line from the beginning and end of the runway, which the pilot must also be able to recognize from the air. The runway identifier is assigned to the thresholds . In the case of an offset threshold, arrows in the direction of the threshold and an additional line in front of the threshold are attached in front of the threshold. If the threshold is temporarily displaced, there are also arrows and the horizontal line, the "normal" threshold marking is not applicable in this case.

Depending on the basic length of the track there are at 250 m (code number 2), at 300 m (Code number 3) or at 400 m (code number 4) at Instrument tracks a target point marking (English: Aiming Point marking). The touchdown zone only needs to be marked on precision runways (code number 2, 3 or 4).

Marking of taxiways and taxiways

Taxiway edge marking (yellow double line), marking of an intermediate holding position (broken yellow cross line).

The taxiways and taxiways markings , however, are yellow. Edges ( side lines ) are marked with a double yellow line, the center line (English: Center Line) with a single yellow line, which is interrupted at intersections with a runway. Taxiway center lines extend to the center line of the runway where it joins the runway. Furthermore, intersections with other taxiways (English: Intermediate Holding Position) and intersections with the runway ( taxiway stop marking, English: holding point) are marked with yellow horizontal lines.

Roll stop

Roll stop

The taxi holding point is the point on the taxiway where you have to stop before taxiing onto the runway in order to give priority to arriving or departing aircraft. At controlled airfields, this taxiway stop marking may only be crossed with the appropriate clearance by air traffic control (tower or taxiing control).

The scroll stop marker consists of two solid and two broken yellow lines. From the point of view of the taxiway in the direction of the runway, the two solid lines appear first and signal that a stop must be made here. From the point of view of an aircraft taxiing from the runway, the two broken lines can be seen first, which indicate that the taxiing stop may be overrun.

For runways that are approved for all-weather flight operations of operating level (CAT) II and III , there is another taxi stop marking on the taxiway at a greater distance from the runway center line. Only when the operating mode is active II or III, airplanes must keep this at a greater distance to the runway, in order, inter alia, the protection zones (critical and sensitive area) of the instrument landing system ; kept free (ILS instrument landing system). The roll stop marker for CAT II and III consists of a yellow double line with a crossbar in between. This marking has no meaning for aircraft operating according to VFR and may therefore be rolled over.

Markings in the signal area

Ground signals are laid out together in the signal area. This has a minimum area of ​​81 m² (9 × 9 m) so that it can also be seen during the approach. These signal areas are mainly to be found at smaller, uncontrolled airfields, as radio equipment is not required by law here. In the event of a radio failure, they are still available as a source of information. The benefit is doubtful, however, as the information given is usually already known from flight preparation . However, the obligation to create these signal areas was lifted years ago by the Ministry of Transport in Bonn and numerous airfields subsequently removed the signal area.

signal description signal description
Barrier cross 2.svg Landing ban : Landing ban for a long time Lock cross 1.svg Special caution when approaching and landing : Due to the poor condition of the maneuvering area or for other reasons, special caution is required when approaching and landing (this is generally interpreted by many operators)
Use of the railways 1.svg Use of the runways and taxiways : Only runways and taxiways may be used for take-off, landing and taxiing Use of the railways 2.svg Use of the runways and taxiways : Only the runways may be used for take-off and landing; Taxi movements are not limited to runways or taxiways
Cross.svg Unusability of the maneuvering area : The part of the maneuvering area marked or limited by the cross is not usable (this also applies to runways) LandeT.svg Instructions for take-off and landing : Take-offs and landings are to be carried out parallel to the longitudinal beam of the Lande-T in the direction of the transverse beam
Segelflugbetrieb.svg Glider operations : Glider operations are carried out at the airfield Traffic pattern normal.svg Change of direction to the right : Contrary to the norm, the traffic pattern does not run counter-clockwise, so that turns must be made in right-hand bends after take-off and before landing
Separate traffic pattern Separate traffic area for motor-powered aircraft and gliders : After take-off and before landing, changes of direction for motor-powered aircraft are only allowed in the direction of the arrow, for gliders only in the opposite direction Air traffic control messages Abgabeort.svg Air traffic control reports : Air traffic control reports are to be submitted at the so-called location (usually the tower ): the fees charged by the operator are often also to be paid here

Markings on the apron

Markings on the apron are usually white or red. For example, the edges of aircraft parking positions or various restricted areas such as those in the swivel area of passenger boarding bridges and the edges of equipment parking areas are marked . Yellow lines on the apron are in the form of taxiing guidelines , which represent an extension of the center lines of the taxiways.

Other markings on airfields

Tank connection

Other markings on airfields are, for example, those of service roads , which essentially correspond to floor markings in road traffic , or markings for marking underground lines such as fuel lines.


International regulations for markings at airports can be found in Annexes (Engl. Annex ) to the Chicago Convention . For Germany, the common principles of the Federation and the Länder on lighting and marking for airfields with instrument flight traffic and the common principles of the Federation and the Länder on lighting and marking for airfields with visual air traffic (NfL I 94/03) must be taken into account. In Austria, the civil airport regulation ZFV applies in this regard .


  • Robert Horonjeff, Francis X. McKelvey: Planning and Design of Airports (English), McGraw-Hill, 1994, ISBN 978-0-07-045345-6

Web links

Commons : Airport surface markings  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Aerodrome Design And Operation Standards