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Logo. Feature : Aeroways
One example for Feature : Aeroways
Describes the fixed physical infrastructure associated with the air travel, including airports, runways, helipads, and terminal buildings.


This page gives an overview of mapping airports and aviation-related items in OpenStreetMap. For a detailed list of tags see aeroway=*.

Most aviation activity is centred on aerodromes (or airports); these facilities are tagged with aeroway=*. The most well known examples are huge international airports with multiple runways, terminal buildings with large retail areas, and a lot of (non-aviation) public transport links, but these tags apply just as well to small private grass strips.

How to Map

Like most things in OSM, you can start with a node tagged only with aeroway=aerodrome and name=*, and add more detail over time. The most common elements are the aerodrome tag, runways, taxiways, aprons, terminal buildings, and often hangars. These are sometimes tied together with a site relation. More tags below.

Item Description
Aerodrome Aerodrome other than heliport. Can be tagged as a node, an area or a multipolygon. As well as having a aeroway=aerodrome it should also have a name=* and may have an iata=* or icao=* code and many others. This node should also contain aerodrome=* to indicate what type if aerodrome it is: (public, military, private or some other type). For complex boundaries a relation:multipolygon can be used (for example, see Norwich airport). Using a relation in this way allows a boundary to be constructed from a number of elements, such as fences, walls and parts of buildings. The boundary may be for the entire aerodrome complex, or for 'airside only.
Heliport Heliport is a special kind of aerodrome meant just for helicopters and should be tagged as aeroway=heliport with all appropriate tags from aeroway=aerodrome.
Runway Runways can be drawn as a way and in addition optionally as area and they should be tagged as aeroway=runway with ref=*. Use surface=* for the runway surface. For the lifecycle (proposed/construction/disused/abandoned) see the detailed article.
Taxiway Taxiway centerlines are drawn as a way in addition optionally as area and tagged with aeroway=taxiway, labeled with ref=*. Use surface=* for the taxiway surface. For the lifecycle (proposed/construction/disused/abandoned) see the detailed article. Drawing taxiways as areas is disputed.
Holding position Use aeroway=holding_position on nodes along the taxiway, runway to identify holding positions.
Apron Use aeroway=apron to identify areas were planes are parked or are serviced. If an apron has a particular purpose or designation then provide this using name=* (eg 'Parking area 15' or 'de-icing').
Aircraft Parking Use aeroway=parking_position to show aircraft parking positions. Name and location doesn't necessarily correspond to aeroway=gate.
Terminal Each terminal should be drawn as an area tagged as aeroway=terminal with a name=*. Tag the entrance to the terminal using a building=entrance node. use name=* for the terminal name (eg 'terminal 1', 'main hall'). A terminal will usually contain one or more gates.
Helipad Landing areas for helicopters are marked with aeroway=helipad using a node or area; labeled with ref=*.
Gate aeroway=gate identifies departure gate where passangers go to board/disembark, label with ref=* if this is known. Not the same as aeroway=parking_position
Beacon Use man_made=beacon nodes to mark navigation lights.
Grass Mark areas of grass with landuse=grass. If appropriate use aeroway=*, surface=grass
Hangar Buildings where aircraft are stored or repaired should be tagged with aeroway=hangar.
Windsock Mark aeroway=windsocks as a node. If it is lighted, include lit=yes.
Navigation aid Use airmark=beacon on nodes representing navigation aids such as VORs, ILS and NDBs.
Papi/Vasi A Wikipedia PAPI or Wikipedia VASI should be marked by a node and tagged as aeroway=papi or aeroway=vasi.
Public Parking Many aerodromes also include various forms of parking, mapped as areas tagged with amenity=parking. Multistorey Car Parks should be mapped as areas tagged as amenity=parking and parking=multi-storey. Provide an identifier or name using ref=*.
Service road Mark internal service roads as ways tagged with highway=service. Include access=private if the public are not able to use them.
Tower Map any control towers using man_made=tower and service=aircraft_control. (Proposal Only)

Aerodromes often contain numerous amenities and transport links which can be mapped individually. Guidelines for each of the transport links can be found in their individual pages. Railway stations, Subways, Taxi Ranks, Bus Stations.

Some amenities often found in and around aerodromes can be found below;

Websites such as and are often helpful for finding ICAO codes. IATA codes can be obtained from the official IATA database (search by → location name).

Not for aeronautical use!

Main article: Aviation. The mission-critical nature of aviation means that data you find in OSM is not suitable for aeronautical use. Wiki-derived data is unlikely to pass strict certification requirements (not even for simple recreational flying). OSM data is generally very accurate, but it just might not be accurate enough for aviation.

That said, many will still find such information useful, so don’t stop contributing.

See [discussion on uploading aviation tracks] on, and Aviation for detailed reasoning

Don't map airspace

The regular on-the-ground rule of OSM applies. If it’s something tangible that you can point at (like a runway, helipad, or gate) then you can add it. If you can't do that (as with airspace, routes, and aeronautical waypoints) then you should leave it out; check out OpenAviationMap instead. Similarly, don’t upload your flight path traces, or draw air routes on the map: routes vary because of weather, time of day, amount of traffic, serviceability of facilities, and the number of ants in the coffee machine. Besides, they’ll probably annoy other mappers (the routes, and maybe the ants too).


There’s no method for mapping airline services between airports. This might be solved by using relations but airline schedules change regularly, so OSM might not be the best place to store such data.