A while back we looked at some of the scariest airports in the Caribbean, but Lauren O’Neil has taken it further by finding some of the best-looking airports in the world in Google Earth.
You can find all of Lauren’s work at holding-pattern.tumblr.com. While her images are quite stunning, the logic behind airport runways can be even better.
Joseph Flaherty at Wired recent wrote a great article that explores the details of how runways are structured in terms of colors, symbols and fonts. A great example is in his “runway math” section:
Airport runways aren’t numbered based on priority, but compass bearings. A runway that is 194° away from magnetic north would be simplified to 190° to prevent rounding errors, and the last digit is dropped, leaving it at 19. Fun fact: Most runways are able to be used in both directions, and when approached from the opposite side the runway’s number is achieved by subtracting 18 or 180°.