Explain in brief the factors to be considered while selecting the site for airport.
1 Answer

Airport Site Selection Criteria

  1. Atmospheric & Meteorological Conditions

  2. Availability of land for Expansion.

  3. Availability of utilities

  4. Development of the Surrounding Area

  5. Economy of Construction

  6. Ground Accessibility

  7. Presence of other Airports

  8. Regional Plan

  9. Soil Characteristics

  10. Topography

  11. Use of airport

Atmospheric & Meteorological Conditions

  • The presence of Fog, Haze & Smoke reduces the visibility & the Poor visibility Lowers the traffic capacity of an Aircraft.
  • The fog has a tendency to Settle into Areas where there is Little Wind.
  • The lack of wind is caused by the Topographical Features of the Surrounding locality.
  • In a similar way, the smoke & Haze are present at Sites very Near to the large industrial Areas.

Availability of Land for Expansion

  • The field of Aviation is Expanding day by day. It is Therefore Necessary to acquire land in advance for future expanding of Airport.
  • As the volume of Traffic increases, it will be necessary to lengthen the runways to provide additional support facilities & to expand the terminal facilities.

Availability of utilities

  • An airport, especially a large one, has to be Provided with utilities like Water electric power, Telephone, sewer etc.
  • For electric power, Most of the Major airports Provide their own generating plants to be used in emergencies in the event when a commercial Source fails.

Development of Surrounding Area

  • The study of the type of development of the Surrounding area is very important because the airport activities, particularly from the Standpoint of Noise, are often Quite objectionable to the Neighbours of the Airport.
  • The proximity of Airport site to the residential areas, schools & hospitals should be avoided whenever possible. Suitable zoning regulations should be Imposed to control the use of the land adjacent to the airport so that conflicts in future are avoided.

Economy of construction

  • It is clear that if alternative sites are available & equally well Suited, the site which is more economical to construct should be Given preference.
  • The sites having water logged areas or reclaimed lands are very costly to develop than those of Natural Ground.
  • The uneven terrain requires much more grading than flat or even terrain.
  • The availability of local construction materials may also have a significant impact on the cost of the Project.

Presence of other Airports

  • The airports should be located at a sufficient distance Apart.
  • This is necessary to prevent the aircrafts which are Manoeuvring for a landing at one airport from interfering with the movements of the Aircrafts at other Aircrafts.

Soil characteristic

• The airport site with the favourable soil characteristic is desirable because it reduces the cost of grading & drainage to a considerable extent.

• The area should as far as possible be self drained.

• The sites having water tables may require costly subsoil drainage.

• An elevated site provides better drainage & visibility.


• The topographical features like ground contours, trees , streams, etc. should be avoided while selecting the site for an Airport.

• A raised ground like a hill top is usually considered to be an ideal site for an Airport because of the following facts.

• It grants better visibility due to less fog

• It permits easy Natural drainage

• The Approach & turning zones are less obstructed

• There is Natural drainage.

Use of Airport

  • The airport site is decided also by the use of Airport, i.e Civil or military.

  • In case of an emergency like War, the civilian Airports are taken over by Military.

  • It is therefore necessary to see that the Airport site Grants Natural Protection from Possible Air Attacks during War.
Please log in to add an answer.