From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Public-images-osm logo.svg aeroway = runway
Runways Brussels Airport (7655183522).jpg
A strip of land on which aircraft can take off and land. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Rendering in OSM Carto
Rendering-aeroway runway.png
Group: aeroways
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
See also
Status: de facto

A runway is a defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome (aeroway=aerodrome) prepared for the landing and take-off of aeroplanes.

For helicopter landing pads, use aeroway=helipad.
For seaplane landing areas, use seamark:type=seaplane_landing_area.

How to map

Draw a way along the centre line of the runway, from one edge to the other, and add the aeroway=runway to it. Information on the width of a runway should be added using the width=* tag (see below).

aeroway=runway is mapped from runway edge to runway edge: this includes parts of the runway marked as displaced thresholds, but excludes blastpads and stopways.

Additionally, the whole area area of the runway may be mapped as well, tagged with area:aeroway=runway. (Previous common practice was to tag such with aeroway=runway + area=yes; this can be safely retagged. As of February 2022, taginfo reports that aeroway=runway is combined with area=yes 2,754 times, while area:aeroway=runway has 2,038 uses, a significant increase from January 2020.)

Tags to use in combination

  • ref=* – the runway designator (for example "02/20" or "09L/27R"). List the smallest designator first (i.e. "04/22", not "22/04"). The two designators of a runway will always differ by 18 (180 degrees) and can have one letter appended (L, C, or R). Only use other values in special cases. Be aware that the US do not adhere to the ICAO standard, and do not publish leading zeroes; i.e., their fields will have a 2/20 rather than a 02/20. There is a tendency for heliports to also have (shortish) runways, so that helicopters can operate to procedures similar to fixed wing. Such runways can then have an H in the ref; see https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/585516454 for one example.
  • length=* – can be used to hold the physical length of the runway surface, including aeroway=stopway, displaced threshold, etc. This is generally more than the length actually available for take-off and landing. Use metres, or specify units. (100 for 100 metres, or 200' for 200 feet.
  • width=* – refers to the width of the actual runway surface. These are usually standardized, typical values are 60 m, 45 m, 30 m, 23 m or 18 m. Only use other values in special cases.
  • ele=* – should be used for the average elevation of the runway
  • surface=* – to be used to identify the physical makeup of the surface of the runway. Example: "paved" or "grass".
  • name=* – If the runway has a distinct name. Should not be a copy of ref. Examples: "Polderbaan" and "Aalsmeerbaan" at Amsterdam airport.

Additional information

Additional information can be specified using these keys:

Tag Description
source:date=* If imported/updated from the FAA 56-day NASR database, this tag will contain the date the database became valid.
incline=[±]d.d% The incline (as a ratio) of the runway. The direction of the way is from approach to departure. It is the gradient between the departure threshold and the approach threshold; i.e., the elevation of the former minus that of the latter, divided by their distance.
The incline (as a ratio) of the runway, as specified in the FAA airport diagram. According to the legend diagram, this is specified if the absolute value is ≥ 0.3%, and is measured to the midpoint of the runway (instead of the far threshold) if the runway is ≥ 8000 ft. The first (undecorated) tag is the incline in the direction of the way, and the reverse_incline tag in the opposing.
FAA:LFSN=* The FAA Landing Facility Site Number for the airport with which the associated runways should be tagged. There is generally no reason to edit this value; it is used to refer back to the associated aeroway=aerodrome node or way and the FAA database for synchronization of imports. Example: "01818.*A" is the LFSN for LAX.
source=* Sources of information present in tags, semi-colon-delimited. "FAA" indicates at least some information from one or more FAA databases or imports. Often combined with an imagery tag to indicate the imagery with which the boundary was drawn.
source_ref=* Key to source documents. Example: when source=FAA, you may see source_ref=nnnnnAD, which indicates the document number of the FAA Airport Diagram, which are at http://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/vvvv/''nnnnn''AD.PDF where vvvv is the version number (incremented every 56 days).
To indicate whether the runway is lit. If lit=yes is used, edge-lights are assumed to be present. Add lit:centre=yes to indicate the presence of centreline lights.

Features that occur in this context

Runway diagram, Displaced threshold.png


Main article: Lifecycle prefix
Stage Tagging Notes
Construction aeroway=construction
A runway under construction.
Operation aeroway=runway An operational runway
Disused disused:aeroway=runway A runway not in use, which could be brought back into operation.
Abandoned abandoned:aeroway=runway Where the runway fallen into serious disrepair and which could only be put back into operation with expensive effort.
No longer present on the ground Remove from OSM or tag no:aeroway=runway Where the runway is not evident on the ground it should be removed from OSM. If there is a danger of it being re-entered from old information then no:aeroway=runway signifies that it is no longer there.


Picture/description Tags OSM Carto
Bogrunway.JPG aeroway=runway

See Munich International Airport for a reference.

See also

  • aeroway=stopway – for paved areas beyond the edge of the runway usable in case of an aborted take-off.
  • aeroway=highway_strip – for an emergency strip on a roadway, usually military in nature.
  • aeroway=taxiway – for a taxiway used by aircraft to access runways from aircraft parking areas at an aerodrome.
  • aeroway=helipad – A landing area or platform designed for helicopters.
  • aeroway=launchpad – A launchpad or landing pad for spacecraft.
  • aeroway=aircraft_crossing – for a point where a runway intersects with a railway or highway.

External links