Roles And Types Of Airports

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Roles and Types of Airports
The United States of America is a country blessed with one of the most advanced airport systems in the world. Comprised of almost 20,000 airfields ranging from public use to private military instillations, this complex airport system is vital to the success of our aviation industry. There are many different types of airports in this system. Each plays a different but vital role with their varying functions. The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) organizes airfields into different categories. Three most popular types of airfields that you can find today include commercial service airports, reliever airports, and general aviation airports. Each type has distinct characteristics and criteria that need to be met to fall into their respective categories. Even though their roles differ and are comprised of varying facilities, users, workers, and regulations each has an important place in the national airport system.
First we will look at commercial services airports. The NPIAS defines these airfields as ones that accommodate commercial air service from scheduled air carriers. These airports are often located next to major population centers. Almost every passenger that flew in 2009 traveled through a commercial service airport by it being their departure, arrival, or transfer point on their journey. These airports with their variety and large scope of operations have to meet many challenges to achieve their overall objective of the safe movement of people and cargo to multiple population centers. (Young & Wells, 2011)
About half of the commercial service airports located in the U.S. fall under another category called primary airports. The NPIAS defines these airports as enplanin...

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...passengers when compared to other airfields. GA airports are airfields more commonly known by recreational/business pilots and travelers. With GA airports varying difference between each other, they can meet roles and objectives specific to their individual needs. Lastly, the last type of airport is a reliever airport. This special type of GA airport is often located in close proximity to busy commercial service airports in populated areas. Their convenience and accessibility make them an attractive option for business and general aviation operations when compared to a busy commercial airport. All these different types of airports serve a unique function in the national airport system. Each airport plays a unique role and when combined with all other types of airfields create a synergy that allows our aviation industry to function efficiently and effectively.
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