Flight Training - August 2021 - 41
Lastly, there are two other location
signs: runway boundary and ILS critical
area boundary. The former, as the name
suggests, lets you know when you are
clear of the runway when exiting onto the
taxiway. As you might have suspected, it
depicts the hold short line symbology with
bold black graphics on a yellow background.
The ILS critical area boundary
sign has the same color scheme and looks
like a ladder lying on its side. It alerts you
to the fact that you've cleared the ILS
So you don't have to stop
and ask for directions...
We're back on the road. Oh, look,
there's an exit. The sign says we can
leave the highway now and join up with
Country Road C5. In the same way we
have exit signs on the highway, we have
direction signs at airports. Typically
used at taxiway intersections, these signs
have a solid yellow backgrounds with
black letters (or letters and numbers)
indicating taxiway names, and pointer
arrows showing the orientations of the
These signs can get pretty crazy
when multiple taxiways create complex
intersections. Tip: The direction signs
are arranged like the tile holder of the
Scrabble board game, with individual " tiles "
indicating the taxiway choices clockwise
from the pilot's left, and will include
our friendly black " we're there " square
somewhere in the middle. Also, the sign will
appear prior to the intersection. Obvious
when there's one intersection, but when
there are three turns with corresponding
signs, it can be helpful to know.
Memphis next exit. Yes, on the highways
and byways we have signs to let us know
where to exit to get to somewhere we
want to go. Likewise, at airports we have
destination signs. These signs look much
like direction signs with black writing and
arrows on a yellow field-but now we have
truncated words, of at least three letters,
and usually more.
When all roads lead to Rome, a sign may
have to do double duty, or even triple duty.
In this case a black dot appears between the
inscriptions with a single arrow pointing
the way. A final direction sign is the runway
pointer, which simply gives the runway
number, and a direction arrow to indicate
the direction of taxi to reach it.
Still sharing the black on yellow motif are
information signs. As the name suggests,
these signs provide us with " good to know "
kinds of information. It might be radio
frequencies, noise abatement procedures,
density altitude reminders at high altitude
airports, and even notices that terrain
blocks the view an intersecting runway!
Distance to end of the Earth
(well, the paved part, anyway)
Our final sign is black and white. Literally.
White numbers on a black background.
These large signs are placed along the edges
of the runway, and are used to alert you to
how much usable runway is left in thousands
of feet. For instance, a runway distance
remaining sign with a giant 2 on it tells you
there are 2,000 feet of runway remaining.
Of course, the various types of signs can be,
and frequently are, mixed and matched.
The AIM calls these " collocated " signs.
It's common to see a red runway hold
sign together with a black-square-you'rethere
sign. Also, commonly collocated are
multiple taxiway direction signs, which-at
larger airports with more complex runway
and taxiway layouts-can lead to very long
signs made up of seven or more elements.
Talk about Scrabble double points!
Oh. Right. I guess I led you astray.
There's actually a seventh kind of sign
found at airports: Vehicle roadway signs
for our non-winged brethren that share
the pavement with us. Fuel trucks, baggage
trains, maintenance vehicles, security
patrols, and the like. These signs look
pretty much like regular road signs you're
used to, with the possible exception of the
one that cautions: Yield to aircraft. FT
WILLIAM E. DUBOIS is an aviation writer and
world speed record holder. He is accredited as
a master ground instructor by both NAFI and
An ILS critical area is a
zone where an aircraft on
the ground could interfere
with the radio signals used
for the airport's instrument
landing system (ILS),
creating a safety hazard to
landing aircraft shooting an
Do you speak destination?
APRON-general parking, servicing, and
RAMP-synonymous with APRON.
FUEL-areas where aircraft are fueled or
TERM-gate positions at which aircraft
are loaded or unloaded.
CIVIL-areas set aside for civil aircraft.
MIL-areas set aside for military aircraft.
PAX- areas set aside for passenger
CARGO- areas set aside for cargo
INTL- areas set aside for handling international
Source: AC 150/5340-18G
Flight Training - August 2021
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - August 2021
Flight Training - August 2021 - Intro
Flight Training - August 2021 - Cover1
Flight Training - August 2021 - Cover2
Flight Training - August 2021 - Contents
Flight Training - August 2021 - 2
Flight Training - August 2021 - 3
Flight Training - August 2021 - 4
Flight Training - August 2021 - 5
Flight Training - August 2021 - 6
Flight Training - August 2021 - 7
Flight Training - August 2021 - 8
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Flight Training - August 2021 - Cover3
Flight Training - August 2021 - Cover4