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Logo. Feature : Aeroways
One example for Feature : Aeroways
DescriptionHelp translate this into Burmese!
Describes the fixed physical infrastructure associated with air travel and space flight, including airports, runways, helipads, and terminal buildings.
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This page gives an overview of mapping airports, spaceports, aviation-related and space flight 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 Tags Description
Aerodrome aeroway=aerodrome
A place from which flight operations take place. Term includes airports, aerodromes, airfields, and landing strips whether international, private, military or otherwise; optional aerodrome=* may be used to classify what type of aerodrome it is. Other common tags include name=*, iata=*/icao=*, ele=*. An aerodrome may include 0 or more runways, taxiways, hangars, aprons, terminals or helipads. A Heliport is a special type of aerodrome serving only helicopters. Aerodromes can be drawn as a node, area or a multipolygon.
Heliport aeroway=heliport
A Heliport is a special type of aerodrome serving only helicopters. Differentiated from an aerodrome by the typical lack of a runway; uses the same tags as aeroway=aerodrome. May include 0 or more helipads, taxiways, hangars, aprons or terminals. Not the same as aeroway=helipad (an area, on an aerodrome or heliport, used for the landing or takeoff of helicopters)
Runway aeroway=runway
The area of an aerodrome used for the landing and takeoff of aircraft. ref=* indicates the runway designator (e.g. 03L/21R). Other common tags include surface=* and width=*. Drawn as a way; area mapping is becoming more common but is disupted; (see discussion here and here). Optional Lifecycle tags may apply.
Helipad aeroway=helipad
An area used for the landing or takeoff of helicopters. May be found at a Heliport, Aerodrome, or as a standalone facility. Common tags include name=*, ref=* and surface=*. Drawn as a node or area.
Taxiway aeroway=taxiway
Taxiways are paths connecting various parts of an airport so that aircraft may move between them. Usually labeled alphabetically (e.g. A; or Q1, Q2, Q3); use ref=*. Other common tags include surface=* and width=*. Drawn as a way; like runways, area mapping is disputed (see discussion here and here). Optional Lifecycle tags may apply.
Holding position aeroway=holding_position
Holding positions are tagged on nodes along a taxiway, or runway to indicate locations at which aircraft may be required to stop, typically in order to remain safely clear of an intersecting runway or taxiway.
Apron aeroway=apron
Areas were aircraft are parked or are serviced. Usually named either alphabetically (e.g. "Alpha") or by purpose (e.g. "Cargo Apron"). Common tags include name=* and surface=*. May contain parking positions, taxiways, and helipads. Drawn as an area.
Aircraft Parking aeroway=parking_position
A location (usually on an apron) at which an aircraft may park. Name and location doesn't necessarliy correspond with aeroway=gate. Drawn as a node.
Gate aeroway=gate
Location, usually inside a terminal building where passangers go to board/disembark an aircraft. Not the same as aeroway=parking_position. Common tags include ref=*. Drawn as a node.
Terminal aeroway=terminal
Building used for the prcessing of passengers and cargo. Implies building=yes; entrance may be tagged with building=entrance. Common tags include name=*. Often contain shops, other amenities, and links to other public transport systems. Usually associated with one or more gates. Drawn as an area.
Hangar aeroway=hangar
Buildings where aircraft are stored or repaired. Implies building=yes. Drawn as an area.
Grass landcover=grass
Areas of grass that aren't part of something else. Combinations of aeroway=*, surface=grass may be more appropriate, but only if the area has a specific function.
Navigation aid airmark=beacon
Use airmark=beacon on nodes representing radio navigation aids such as VORs, ILS and NDBs.
Papi/Vasi aeroway=navigationaid
+ navigationaid=als
+ navigationaid=papi
A visual landing aid consisting of a number of lights; shows pilots whether they're approaching a runway at the correct angle. Drawn as a node. See also PAPI or VASI.
Windsock aeroway=windsock
Shows wind direction; consists of a (fabric) cone mounted on top of a mast. May be lit (lit=yes). Drawn as a node.
Public Parking amenity=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 highway=service Mark internal service roads as ways tagged with highway=service. Include access=private if the public are not able to use them.
Tower man_made=tower Map any control towers using man_made=tower and service=aircraft_control. (Proposal Only)
Spaceport aeroway=spaceport
A spaceport area
Airstrip aeroway=airstrip
A place such as a farm field, hill slope or similar reasonably flat area where light aircraft can land and take off from. Airstrips often have no permanent supporting infrastructure. Passenger carrying aircraft do not normally use an airstrip unless they are providing joyrides, scenic flights, or are involved in aviation related sports or adventure tourism

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).

Military aerodromes

For a military aerodrome, military=airfield can be added and also, if mapped as way, landuse=military. The aeroway=aerodrome is primary, though.

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; (there was a project OpenAviationMap but it seems dead). 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.



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