Airport/Aerodrome/Airfield/Airstrip...when to use??!!

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Whisky Tango
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Airport/Aerodrome/Airfield/Airstrip...when to use??!!

Post by Whisky Tango »

OK, I know that an aerodrome is a building or piece of land or water usable for the landing and taking off of aircraft, so you don't need to use the runway, unlike an airport(??), but what's the difference between that and say an airfield or airstrip? We have so many of these different names in this country that I was curious as to which is which.

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Post by Papa8 »

I would say aerodrome is the overarching term in that it includes all locations where aircraft activities take place perhaps including heliports as well.

I would define airport as a place where most of the following exists: hard-surface, terminal for passengers (not the clubhouse or a hangar!) commercial traffic.

I would define airfield as a place for aircraft that has facilities beside the runway such as hangars, a clubhouse, fuel, fire fighting equipment etc.

An airstrip I would define as a place prepared for the use of fixed-wing aircraft (i.e. a runway) but very little else in the way of facilities (a windsock perhaps, manoeuvring area, parking area etc. but normally no buildings or services provided.

Airstrip and airfield are loosely the same thing but with the expectation that when the word strip is used there is never much services or supports on the site.

Take weston for example: It was always referred to as an aerodrome until recently and somehow airport fits better now even if scheduled services don't exist. The public will also describe Weston as an airfield. Kilkenny is definitely not an airport by my definition despite much signage proudly proclaiming otherwise.

Interestingly helicopters have similar degrees of definition e.g. helipad, heliport I don't think there is such a thing as a helidrome. :lol:
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Post by damienair »

I would usually call an Airport or an Aerodrome a licensed facility.

After that it's really up to the owners of the unlicensed airfields. Most are called Airfields any way , whether or not there is tarmac. A strip is usually just that, a strip of grass cut out of a field, farmstrip is the same and tend to be tight and short, surrounded by crops, ground radio is generally unmanned and common sense prevails. And are usually more fun to visit and present more of a challenge.

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Post by EiMPB »

As far as I know, the difference between an Airport and an Aerodrome is aircraft movements???? Correct me if I'm wrong though!

Was there not a thread about weston changing from Aerodrome to Airport and someone said it was because of the amount of Daily A/C movements?

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Post by stovepipe »

I think the definition has more to do with the commercial nature of operations from an airport, ie, the public can fly to and from a destination or fly cargo or carry out aerial work, whereas the use of an airfield or airstrip is of a more casual nature.

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Post by driver1a »

I remember from somewhere that airfield refers to military and aerodrome civil. I think in general aerodrome is nearly obsolete. But if I owned an airfield or strip. I would call it an aerodrome for nostalgia reasons.

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