An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports often have facilities to store and maintain aircraft, and a control tower. An airport consists of a landing area, which comprises an aerially accessible open space including at least one operationally active surface such as a runway for a plane to take off or a helipad, and often includes adjacent utility buildings such as control towers, hangars and terminals. Larger airports may have airport aprons, taxiway bridges, air traffic control centres, passenger facilities such as restaurants and lounges, and emergency services. In some countries, the US in particular, they also typically have one or more fixed-base operators, serving general aviation.
A terminal is a building with passenger facilities. Small airports have one terminal. Large ones often have multiple terminals, though some large airports like Amsterdam Airport Schiphol still have one terminal. The terminal has a series of gates, which provide passengers with access to the plane.
The following facilities are essential for departing passengers: Check-in facilities, including a baggage drop-off, Security clearance gates, Passport control, Gates, Waiting areas
The following facilities are essential for arriving passengers: Passport control, Baggage reclaim facilities, often in the form of a carousel, Customs, A landside meeting place
Air traffic control (ATC) is the task of managing aircraft movements and making sure they are safe, orderly and free of delays. At the largest airports, air traffic control is a series of highly complex operations that requires managing frequent traffic that moves in all three dimensions.
Ground control is responsible for directing all ground traffic in designated “movement areas”, except the traffic on runways.
Most airports have groundcrew handling the loading and unloading of passengers, crew, baggage and other services. Some groundcrew are linked to specific airlines operating at the airport.
Air safety is an important concern in the operation of an airport, and almost every airfield includes equipment and procedures for handling emergency situations. Airport crash tender crews are equipped for dealing with airfield accidents, crew and passenger extractions, and the hazards of highly flammable aviation fuel. The crews are also trained to deal with situations such as bomb threats, hijacking, and terrorist activities.
Coming soon – an Airport Job Portal