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Purpose and Scope

These pages contain the AIXM coding guidelines for the minimum and conditional data items of the AIP data set for the Runway & FATO subject.

Im PANS-AIM Runway is defined as follows:

A defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and take-off of aircraft. (Annex 14)

Im PANS-AIM FATO is defined as follows:

Final approach and take-off area. A defined area over which the final phase of the approach manoeuvre to hover or landing is completed and from which the take-off manoeuvre is commenced. Where the FATO is to be used by helicopters operated in performance class 1, the defined area includes the rejected take-off area available.

AIP context

In an AIP, corresponding Runway/FATO information is published in the following sections:

  • AD 2.12 Runway physical characteristics
  • AD 2.13 Declared distances

  • AD 2.16 Helicopter landing area
  • AD 3.12 Heliport data

  • AD 3.13 Declared distances

AIXM Model Overview

The figure below shows the main AIXM 5 classes used for the runway and runway direction concept.

A Runway is situated at maximum one AirportHeliport.

The runway is a defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome/heliport prepared for the landing and take-off from aircraft.


This includes the concept of Final Approach and Take-Off Area (FATO) for helicopters. The Runway.type attribute is used to distinguish if it is a 'RWY' or 'FATO'.

An airport may have an arbitrary number of physical runways associated with it, each of which has -in general- up to two runway directions defined (It is possible to record less or more than two RWY directions if required).

The Runway at an airport will be identified by a designator, normally composed of the designators of its runway directions. A runway has a nominalLength and a nominalWidth.

The Runway has a surface that can be described by the attributes of the SurfaceChracteristics class. This includes inter alia the type of the predominant material of which a surface of the movement area is composed, e.g. Asphalt or Grass, etc. and certain methods for classifying the strength of the surface such as the PCN (Pavement Classification Number).

The RunwayDirection is one of the two landing and take-off directions of a Runway. It is defined by a RunwayDirection.designator. Each runway direction will have a defined trueBearing and may also have a defined magneticBearing.

The RunwayCentrelinePoint is an operationally significant position on the centre line of a runway direction. A typical example of the role of a runway centre line point is the runway threshold or the end of the runway. The location of a runway centre line point is defined by the Point class.

The RunwayDeclaredDistance is a conventional operational distance declared for a runway direction. The type of declared distance may be a Take-off Run Available ('TORA'), Take-off Distance Available ('TODA'), Landing Distance Available ('LDA'), etc.  It is measured from a certain RunwayCentreLinePoint.

Coding Examples

The figure shows a simple example of a Runway with designator "RWY-09L/27R" situated at "EADD".

It is composed of the designators of the runway directions.

The runway has a nominal length of "2800 Meters" and a nominal width of "45 meters".

Each runway direction has a true and magnetic bearing defined.

Each runway direction has also a defined runway centre line point, viz. the threshold with its elevation.

The figure below shows the encoding of some of the Runway properties described above in AIXM 5.1.

Coding examples can be found in the DONLON AIXM 5.1.1 AIP data set file:

No.DescriptionXPath Expression
RWY-EX-01Runway (with strip)

//aixm:RunwayTimeSlice[@gml:id ='RWY_EADD_09L_27R']

RWY-EX-02Runway//aixm:RunwayTimeSlice[@gml:id ='RWY_EADD_09R_27L']
RWY-EX-03FATO//aixm:RunwayTimeSlice[@gml:id ='RWY_EADH_FATO_03_21']

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