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On airport runway names

January 2018
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There’s an interesting article on runway renaming that appeared on Wired. Ever wondered what those numbers on airport runways are about? Well, they represent the runway’s orientation, which is influenced by many factors among them the magnitude and dominant directions of winds. Historical wind data are collected and translated into a wind rose, which looks very much like a compass, and is used to determine a suitable orientation for a runway.

Davies, A. (2018) Thank the planet’s shifty magnetic poles for runway renaming, http://www.wired.com, https://www.wired.com/story/airports-rename-runways-magnetic-shift/?CNDID=37243643&mbid=nl_011918_daily_list3_p2 [Last accessed 1/21/2018].

NAIA’s main runway is 06-24 or 24-06 depending on the take-off or landing direction. Does it need renaming, too?


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