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Discussions from key:aeroway

I have moved the historical discussions about aeroway features from talk:key:aeroway to retain all the conversations in one place. PeterIto 07:14, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

RC Runway

I entered a runway for a radio-controlled airplane club. Mapnik and Cycle Map look okay, at close zoom levels, but look short and stubby further out. However, it is too stubby at any zoom level in Osmarender. There are another two of them that I know of in the Ogden, Utah (USA) area that I haven't yet input. Could there be some value created for RC runways and taxiways? This way if they are rendered, they will at least look better. — Val42 05:52, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I have seen runways rendered as areas instead of ways. That would seem to allow one to control the width. I don't know enough about RC runways to know if they are properly included with this tag, however. --Liber 19:52, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I have taken up these rules for fields for r/c flying:

  • map runway just like any othe runway, either a way or an area
  • map the field as "sport=model_aerodrome,aerodrome=model"


Prevalence of "aeroway" as an english term

Presently, neither Wikipedia nor Wiktionary contain a record for the term 'aeroway'. Nor does contain a record; this resource x-refs >1000 English dictionaries. Therefore, I would suggest that this is not an appropriate term to use for the concept in the English Key-space. I don't suggest an alternative right now, as I've not given it sufficient thought. --Ceyockey 16:59, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Aeroway does fit nicely with highway, railway, cycleway, and aerialway. Airway is not a good idea as that term already has a specific aviation meaning. -- Tinshack 17:41, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Is "aeroway" a direct translation of German term, by any chance? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:32, 14 March 2023 (UTC)

Airport Traffic

Some aerodromes do not permit some types of traffic (Bourne does not normally accept helicopters, Gransden operates only gliders), and sites where skydiving routinely takes place are usually identified on aviation charts. I think these should be tagged as rotorcraft=prohibited etc. using the tags aeroplane, rotorcraft, glider, balloon, parachute, hanglider, microlight with values designated (main or only use of aerodrome), permitted, prohibited --Bskingle 11:40, 14 April 2008

That should probably follow the conventions for defining exceptions to the rule established by an access=* tag. Specifically, instead of "permitted" or "prohibited" it would be "yes" or "no". So an airfield that only allows gliders would probably be aircraft=no, glider=yes (but not access=no, because that would mean land- and sea-based access is prohibited too). On the other hand, an airfield that generally allows all types of aircraft but with one notable prohibition (such as, no balloons) would simply be balloon=no. Vid the Kid 07:27, 24 July 2009 (UTC)


It has been proposed that this page be merged into key:aeroway. Is that something that we should do? PeterIto 16:24, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Personally I would suggest that is is moved to 'Aeroway' and become an summary article for all flight related tagging, in the same way we have one for Aerialway, Buses and Railways. Some of these articles are new and un-developed, but the idea is that there is a 'main' article for each identified public transport mode. Possibly aeroway is not the right name either, but I suggest it should be a summary article and not relate to a single key or only to airports. PeterIto 16:28, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, added the cleanup tag. Aeroway should follow a similar style to Railway in my opinion, possibly with a similar link to Airport drawing parallels to Railway stations? Martin Renvoize 12:12, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I have done a lot of cleanup on the article now. Should we do the move to aeroway? any objections? PeterIto 10:02, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I have now completed the merge with aeroways. Airports is now a redirect to aeroways. PeterIto 06:53, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Resolved: Resolved, I think. New changes can be proposed independently Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:38, 14 March 2023 (UTC)

Aerodromes as nodes, relations and boundaries

I have been spending some time looking at how airports are coded in OSM, have been cleaning the relevant wiki articles to make the options and current practice clearer. I do also however have a few particular suggestions about how we could make it work better:

  1. I suggest we recommend the use of a node for the main airport feature (using aeroway=aerodrome) because this allows people to position the node in the most appropriate location within the facility, which may not be in the middle which is where it ends up if an area is used. I would suggest that the node should normally be positioned close to the main terminal which is where it is of most use to passengers when trying to access the airport. I note that a number of major airports have aeroway=aerodrome nodes as well as aeroway=aerodrome boundaries which seems to imply that others also feel a need to use a node for the airport data.
  2. It seems appropriate to combine all the elements associated with an airport into a relation:site. I have created a site relation for Oxford Airport and rather boldly also for San Francisco International airport. I have used 'roles' of runway/ taxiway/ terminal/ aerodrome/ boundary/ hangar/ access/ gate etc. For complex airports with multiple terminals it may be appropriate to create a 'site' relation for each terminal and then combine these terminal sites into a larger site for the whole airport.
  3. There are potentially at least two different boundaries (airside, and all facilities including any associated far-flung parking, train stations etc). I have experimented with using aeroway=boundary for simple boundaries and more complex boundaries should probably be formed using relation:multipolygon. I would suggest that these boundaries are tagged with aeroway=boundary, and optionally also with a 'boundary=airside' or whatever and are included within the main airport relation with a role of 'boundary'.

Any thoughts?

-- PeterIto 22:42, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

aeroway=aerodrome as an area already seems fairly common according to [stats]. See the aerodrome (area) proposed feature. I haven't come across any separation of air-side and land-side in OSM, but Joe Public can generally consider public roads and terminal buildings as land-side, and everything else as air-side (and out of bounds). -- Tinshack 20:13, 25 July 2013.

Balloons "airports"?

Is there any tag for a balloon landing area? something like aeroway=balloonspad ? unsigned User:Xan.

Not seen anything like that in OSM yet, but you are free to get creative on this. Do however check out taginfo for aeroway to see if anyone is using something already. Actually... there is one 'aeroway=balloonpad' there (not balloonspad btw). There are also a few 'paraglider_takeoff_spot', 'paragliding_landing_site' and a 'launch pad' whatever that is for, possibly for space rockets? Looks as though it would be good to add some of this to the key table for aeroway in due course. PeterIto
Also 'leisure=balloon_launch'.[1] PeterIto 21:51, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I use aeroway=balloon_launch, because I really think it's aeroway tag not leisure tag. But thanks, this serves me as inspiration. See that

Hangar tagging

It seems like it might be useful to have a tag for hangars, as well as terminals.--Liber 19:53, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

See aeroway=hangar and aeroway=terminal. Good to also tag these with building=yes.-- Tinshack 09:45, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Resolved: This one is answered Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:39, 14 March 2023 (UTC)


Detail tagging

Since airport diagrams indicate a runway's width, I've been tagging it using width=*. It would be nice if the renderer would honor this, though.

Also, since ele=* is supposed to be GPS-accurate elevation, while airplanes and airports use measurements designed around barometric pressure, I've been tagging the nodes at each end of a runway with aeroway:ele=*. I also tag the field elevation with aeroway:field_ele=*.

BigPeteB 20:13, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

ele=* does the job just fine (most airport elevations are WGS84 anyway) - so it's probably not necessary to tag aeroway:ele=* separately. Remember to include units (648 ft or 197.51 m) -- Tinshack 09:45, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Drop-off/Pick-up zone

Big airports have multiple areas for drop-off and pick-up, which may depend on which set of gates you're going to or which airline you're using. This would be convenient to tag since you could tell your navigation device to go to "Terminal C" or "South Terminal". But how do we represent this? aeroway=gate doesn't really fit, since that's for the airplanes, not the passengers. BigPeteB 06:04, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

landing lights

I am searching for tags to all the items for navigational symbols, and for some reason, airport landing lights are listed as a rendering symbol for marine nautical maps. I have not been able to find any suitable tagging for this. Anybody who can suggest anything for me? See here for details. --Skippern 23:28, 13 September 2010 (BST)

Taxiway &Runway markings

  • Using the tag aeroway=holding_position for the holding position markings at Chicago O'Hare. --Nickvet419 Flag of United States 10:29, 6 October 2010 (BST)
  • I've added ref=* for the holding position names at Redhill Aerodrome (e.g. ref=A1) - hopefully this is a sensible suggestion for extra info on holds? --Jmbatchelor (talk) 08:39, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Water runway

I have used aeroway=water_runway. Rendering could be dotted black outline. Example near SVG/ENZV:

What about aeroway=runway; surface=water? -- Tinshack 04:59, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

--Gorm 13:51, 20 October 2010 (BST)

Obstruction Lights

Surrounding the airport are often towers containing obstruction lights. Any suggestions on how to tag these? Brianegge (talk) 00:49, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Navigation Aids/Radio Beacons

There are two parallel schemes in use for these features, aeroway=navigationaid and airmark=beacon, compared at Talk:Tag:aeroway=navigationaid. If anyone has a preference one way or another, please comment there. Also noted there are multiple ways that PAPI lights are being tagged. Neuhausr (talk) 21:42, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Airline Lounges

Shops, restaurants and similar amenities are easy to tag in the usual way when tagging an airport terminal, but what about airline lounges? I couldn't find anything on the wiki and I also couldn't find an appropriate tag in OSMAnd. --Fmarier (talk) 23:42, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

Aircraft parking as ways?

At Kastrup airport[2] (Copenhagen, Denmark) someone has tagged aeroway=parking_position as ways leading from aeroway=taxiway to points close to gates. But the wiki page says that aeroway=parking_position should be nodes.

Is this proper? Personally, it messes things up for me, because I was planning on having my renderer put an airplane in these positions.

If I've understood the tags correctly those ways should be aeroway=taxilane (although, that's only a proposed tag so far) and only the end node should be aeroway=parking_position. --Kapten-N (talk) 10:30, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Airport buildings

Under open issues, there are some questions regarding airport-associated buildings. For the moment, I would suggest tagging these as 'building=yes' 'aerodrome=whatever' or even just 'building=whatever'. Where whatever could be replaced by hangar or terminal. unsigned

The accepted tag for the building=* tag is that it takes a yes/no value. In this case, building=yes and aerodrome=whatever. This way, regardless of the type of building, it will always be rendered as something. --Milliams 12:25, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Although this has been discussed elsewhere (and some proposals were rejected), I'd like to discuss several items on this page. Buildings are one of them: I believe it is valuable to some map users to see where is tower, ARO, and maybe meteo office (hangars would be nice, but not esential) DarkoS 12:25, 12 September 2009 (UTC)


I've been comparing the tagging between Sturup Airport[3] (Malmö, Sweden) and Kastrup Airport[4] (Copenhagen, Denmark) regarding gates.

At Kastrup they have tagged aeroway=gate (with ref=[name]) as nodes inside the terminals, which seems to be in line with how the wiki page describes the tag's usage. Meanwhile the structures used for boarding the planes are simply tagged building=yes with no aeroway tag what-so-ever.

At Sturup they have tagged these boarding structures as both building=yes and aeroway=gate (with ref=[name]) and haven't used any lone nodes for this purpose. This is not in line with how the wiki page describes the usage of the aeroway=gate tag.

Personally, I think that the way gates are tagged at Sturup is much more useful. Maybe the node is intended to mark the position of the desk where they check your tickets, but knowing that the building is a structure intended for boarding planes is much more useful for renderers. Just my two cents.

--Kapten-N (talk) 11:36, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Edit: Someone further down on the talk page suggested the tag aeroway=jet_bridge. Is this the name of the above mentioned boarding structures? --Kapten-N (talk) 11:49, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Bits of runway

How about adding:

  • 'aeroway = displaced_threshold' (a bit of runway that you can roll around on but not hit from the air)
  • 'aeroway = stopway' (bit of runway you don't use except in emergency)

Yes, its nice. In addition I'd like to note surface type (paved=concrete, grass, dust...), thresholds and designations ("05", "23"). Surface type is the most prominent aerodrome attribute that is shown on VFR maps, together with tower frequency. DarkoS 12:45, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Sections of a runway

Would it make more sense to tag as follows?

Displaced threshold

Runway diagram, Displaced threshold.png

Blast pad

Runway diagram, Blast pad.png


This might be eventually supported by renderers to display the displaced threshold arrows and the blast pad chevrons, but would be backward compatible with the aeroway=runway tag. --AtonX (talk) 16:43, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Missing features

I am missing following features and would like to add them to the rendered items:

Type Value Description
way aeroway=taxipath The Painting on apron/taxiway where planes are to drive over. Each taxipath has an individual Code.
node area aeroway=parking_position Area / Position where a plane is standing to board and unboard. Each position has an individual Number and can be different from the aeroway=gate it is serving. It may not even be directly associated to an aeroway=gate as they can be far from the terminal and passengers to there with buses.
way aeroway=jet_bridge The jet_bridge for passengers to board a plane without stepping outside or riding to it in a bus.
way aeroway=aeroservice ServiceWays (Paintings on the apron) only where service-vehicles are allowed to drive from terminal to the parking-positions.
parking_position is listed Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:37, 14 March 2023 (UTC)


There is a important difference between taxiway and taxilane, but there is no tag for taxilane. It's like tagging every road as motorway. taxiways should we outside the parking area.

-- kelvan (talk) 16:43, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Airport Classification

Small airstrips?

A few points of relevance here, these facts relate to the UK, I'm uncertain off hand about the situation in other countries: The term "Airport" has specific meaning in law, that there are customs facilities and international flights may arrive and depart there. This does not have anything to do with the physical size of the areodrome, Cambridge is an Airport for example. The term Aerodrome is the most generic term for an aircraft landing site, including a place where seaplanes land. Airfield means an aerodrome on land, all training flights and most commercial services must take place from a licensed aerodrome, and international flights must land first at an Airport, before possibly completing their flight to another areodrome. There are also studies such as GASAR (see which provide classification which may be of use here. In the UK at least, many military airfields are available for public use and almost all will provide air traffic services for civilian flights.

Proposed Tagging Scheme

In view of the need for a scheme which is easily used from a survey, while wishing to avoid anomolies by comparison to official classifications, I propose the following, which should be rendered with decreasing prominance:

  • aerodrome=* - An area feature defining the perimeter of any location where aircraft take off and land.
  • aerodrome=airport -Any aerodrome where customs facilities exist and/or where international flights arrive and depart. In the UK I think these would always be civillian, but in the event that a military airfield is also an airport (like Stuttgart perhaps?) then it should also be tagged military=airfield.
  • aerodrome=commercial - An aerodrome which is not an Airport but where commercial scheduled flights operate, such as Penzance.
  • aerodrome=public - An aerodrome which is open to the public for GA flights but which does not normally operare air transport flights, such as Duxford.
  • military=airfield - A military aerodrome, I would prefer military=aerodrome, but since I suspect that there are few military aerodromes on water and there are probably a lot of tags already out there the distinction is probably not worth worrying about. In the case where a military airfield is open for public use (such as Fairford) it should also be tagged aerodrome=* and in cases where there are separate areas for civillian and military use (Athens?) separate perimiters could be mapped, presumably joined by a relation?
  • aerodrome=private - Private landing sites such as farm strips. Even in the case of a single helipad I suggest that an aerodrome should be identified, there always needs to be open space in which to make an approach, and there is almost always a separate parking area. In the cases where there really is nothing other than the landing pad (such as a roof top helipad) the aerodrome way could indicate that part of the building roof where helicopters can land, which may not be the entire roof area.

-- unsigned

I Agree. We Definitely Need The Ability To Differentiate been Major Airports, Minor Airports, and Tiny Airfields.
In the area around Burlington, VT, where I do most of my mapping, there are numerous very small airfields. Most of them are probably just grass runways, as this is a relatively rural area. All of these airfields are tagged as aeroway=aerodrome because there is no other option, (also they were created by an import). The result is that on the Mapnik layer at zoom 15 there are many aerodromes rendered very prominently, and the one major aerodrome, Burlington International Airport, doesn't get rendered (due to conficts with other features I imagine). Ironic. I'm thinking for now I will just tag these little airfields as aeroway=airfield. Then they won't render at all, but at least they won't clutter the map.
I think the proposal above (who does it belong to?) is a good start, but commercial, public, and private don't really suggest importance to me. For public/private perhaps access=yes and access=no could be used?
According to this Wikipedia article in the UK aerodromes are broken down into six categories from large to small: Regional Airports, Major Airports, Developed Airfields, Basic Airfields, Developed Airstrips, and Basic Airstrips. I don't think OSM needs quite this level of detail, but how about aerodrome=airport, aerodrome=airfield, and aerodrome=airstrip. Airport renders at a high zoom level, Airfield at a bit lower, and Airstrips only at a very low zoom level. In my area there are also nodes tagged as aeroway=aerodrome in the middle of a lake. Clearly these are for seaplanes, and it doesn't seem right to call this type of aerodrome an airfield or an airstrip since there is no field or strip. Some google searching has turned up several references to a "water aerodrome" so how about aerodrome=water for these? I'd say they should render at the same low zoom level as an Airstrip. Of course there could be some huge seaplane bases that I don't know about...
-- Ezekielf 20:26, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
I strongly agree that something needs to be done about this. I'm mapping in Upstate New York and the map is totally cluttered with hundreds of tiny landing strips, a lot of them probably no longer even existing, according to the aerial imagery. I'm no expert on airports, so I'm not sure what the best solution is, but let's please implement something.Hobbesvsboyle 15:22, 4 June 2011 (BST)
OMG, this scheme needs to change in a big way! Presently, the grass field where Farmer Brown lands his cropduster appears exactly the same on OSM as O'Hare! I dunno how to express myself yet on wiki, but here are several suggestions:
The current practice of airports only appearing at scales 10, 11, and 12 makes no sense. As soon as you get close enough to an airport to be looking at the neighborhood roads, the airport vanishes off the map! They need to appear at least up to scale 16, perhaps all the way to 19.
The idea of calling a military airport an "airfield" is confusing, that's not what they're called, and using an icon that looks like a pathetic little propeller-driven plane only adds to the confusion.
There should be three distinct types of "aerodrome": 1) a commercial airport, any place you can buy a ticket to Cleveland and check your bags. This should be called an "airport", and the existing icon is just fine, it looks like an airliner. 2) a military airport. This should be called an "air base", and an icon that looks like a jet fighter is needed. 3) a General Aviation airport, the kind of place you can land your Cessna. This should be called an "airfield", and the icon presently used for "airfield" is perfectly suitable -- it looks like a little Cessna. Airfields can be further divided into "public" and "private" using the existing tags. Airports can be further divided into regional, national, or international.
Obviously, at what scale each of these shows up differs. An airport should show up by scale 10, perhaps even 9. An air base might show up at 9 or 10 as well. A public airfield shouldn't appear until scale 12 or 13, maybe even 14. And a private airfield shouldn't appear until scale 15 or 16.--Kirbert (talk) 07:02, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Both airport and aerodrome imply the transportation of passengers and cargo between destinations. I think only airfields with an ICAO or IATA code should be tagged as aeroway=aerodrome. This will include civilian and military airfields, as well as most aeroclub fields, but small grass airstrips that do not handle passengers are unlikely to be included. This would go some way to reducing confusion.
So I think a couple of additional aeroway types are needed. In some parts of the world there are a lot of small airstrips that are very basic. Many are used for agricultural purposes, often by a single aircraft, for just a few days a year, to load fertilizer, etc. to spread or spray on crops. The aircraft and ground equipment arrive at the start of the job/day and departs when the job/day is done. These airstrips do not normally have an ICAO or IATA code. In New Zealand there are about 3500 of these airstrips and they are shown on topographical maps as airstrips rather than as airports or aerodromes. Currently they are identified as aeroway=airstrip.
Also, because there appears to be no other alternative, launching points for hang-gliders, kites, para-sails and similar free-flying or unpowered sport aircraft, as well as balloons, are also being designated as aerodromes, when I think they should be tagged as something else. There is no mention about how to tag aerosport facilities or adventure tourism activities that carry passengers using aircraft for sport or adventure tourism purposes. - Huttite (talk) 16:51, 29 January 2017 (UTC)

Civil, military, private

Any distinction in tagging? Ojw 21:29, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I assume military should be military=airfield instead of using aeroway=aerodrome. We need a tag for private airfields though. RehpotsirhC 16:58, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

What about small airstrips

What about small airstrips that shouldn't be given the same prominence on the map as major airports?

The undocumented tag aeroway=airstrip has been used, mainly in New Zealand, to identify about 3500 small airstrips mostly used for agricultural purposes. These airstrips do not have ICAO or IATA codes but appear on topographical maps of New Zealand. - Huttite (talk) 15:51, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, but I am afraid it doesn't really help. As long as there is only one way the renderer shows all aerodromes, it is no use for us, poor little well-meaning mappers, to differentiate. I am all for using a separate tag for diminutive fields, "airstrip" for one example, but the powers that be are discouraging this by not rendering it properly. I wonder what can be done about this, so many mappers have already offered similar comments, here and elsewhere. Jan olieslagers (talk) 16:17, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
I think you have fallen into the trap of tagging for the renderer. I do not think all those little airstrips and other aircraft launching places should show with an aerodrome symbol. Only the ICAO ir IATA coded aerodromes should show up. Other types of aeroway should show up in a different way, with different symbols, and the tagging scheme should explain how they need to be tagged and how they get rendered, or not, as the case may be. For example: aeroways that are an area, or closed way, may appear as different coloured polygon. What shows up doesn't need to be a pretty symbol, it could just be a different coloured piece of dirt on the map. Rendering correctly is a different issue to tagging correctly. - Huttite (talk) 17:10, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
I quite agree we should not map for the renderer, neither should we tag for the renderer - but working for nobody is not very attractive or motivating either ;) . So that for the time being I map every place where human-carrying flight takes place with aeroway=aerodrome - mind you, that is never incorrect; only it leaves room for differentiation. And allow me to warn you on the relevance of ICAO codes: some countries have so many aerodromes that the 26 x 26 icao codes they have for all of their aerodromes is largely insufficient. I am thinking of Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, France - only that last country had the wits to introduce their own pseudo-icao codes like LF1234, and grant them a degree of officialdom. UK and Germany and Spain leave many fields uncoded, even quite busy recreational fields - why should OSM treat them different from those with an ICAO code? Jan olieslagers (talk) 17:40, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
I think you are missing the point of having different tag values for aeroways. The tag aeroway=aerodrome means that the airport or aerodrome supports the carriage of human passengers on passenger carrying aircraft, not every form of human flight. How do you classify an airfield or airstrip where there are aircraft flights that are not carrying humans? Also what do you mean by carrying humans? And what do you mean by flight?. And what even counts as an aircraft these days? In New Zealand, users of any remotely operated aerial vehicles (or drones) need to file a flight plan with air traffic control if they intend to fly above the top of surrounding buildings or trees. This potentially means every open space becomes an aerodrome because somebody can file a flight plan and use it to launch a UAV, drone or quadcopter. Your proposition to use aeroway=aerodrome for all places that aircaft can take off or land from breaks down because it doesn't cope with the unusual and extreme cases. I am arguing that small airfields and airstrips that have an IATA or ICAO code are recognised as aerodromes because they meet a recognised operating standard for carrying passengers on aircraft flights. But airfields, airstrips, launching and landing places that do not have an IATA or ICAO code are probably some other form of aeroway, rather than being an aerodrome. For example: I do not consider the brow of the nearest hill that has a good updraft on a windy day so that hang-glider and parasail enthusiasts use it to launch their aircraft and ridge-soar to be aerodromes. But it could definitely be a different sort of aeroway, especially if the local adventure tourism company advertises for joy-rides and regularly operates from that place and those joyrides would even be passenger carrying flights! But I don't think anyone would seriously consider those sorts of hill-tops to be airports or aerodromes in the sense of air transport. Calling them aeroway=aerodrome is like driving a large square peg into a small round hole with a sledge hammer. It doesn't fit, and shouldn't be used. Furthermore, we cause OSM to lose credibility if we advise tagging them as such. We need other aeroway tag values for these cases. aeroway=airstrip is one option for a grassy farmer's field used for landing aircraft. There are other aeroway tag values already in use that describe other places that don't fit as aerodromes. We should look at them and select which ones are most suitable to use and recommend a standard set of aeroway tag values. Once we have a standard set, then we can recommend that renderers render the standard tag values with standard icons. - Huttite (talk) 11:07, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
If we can't agree on definitions then there is no discussion possible. From <quote>An aerodrome or airdrome is a location from which aircraft flight operations take place, regardless of whether they involve air cargo, passengers, or neither.</quote> And your question <quote>what do you mean by carrying humans?</quote> borders the ridiculous. I see no use in continuing this discussion. Jan olieslagers (talk) 11:15, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
You clearly have a very definite view about what an aerodrome should be. However, I cannot say how much of it that I agree with unless I first understand what you mean. Also, if we don't discuss this then we cannot reach a consensus. Failing to achieve a consensus poses the risk that your definition will be ignored by other mappers (they are already doing this) and your tags will be changed as such tags will be seen as being wrong. Please try to convince me why your definition is the right one. Then we can both defend it.
Also, I fail to see why my question about carrying humans is ridiculous. I am trying to determine if your definition of the carriage of humans includes the on-board flight crew or is it just limited to human passengers. I am also trying to ascertain whether you believe a human pilot needs to be on-board or not. (Those situations are not mutually exclusive.) My questions are intended to explore the extents of your definition that I do not understand.
At this time, I am not certain that the definition of aerodrome you provide from Wikipedia is necessarily the best one to use for OSM tagging. If we can decide on what should be tagged as aeroway=aerodrome, rather than what might be an aerodrome, then I expect other things might become easier to determine. - Huttite (talk) 00:00, 31 January 2017 (UTC)


For a glider landing/starting area I'd suggest to use aeroway=airfield, which means an unpaved or loosely paved area to be used and reserved for Aircraft operation. Common maps distinguish between those and regular airports, which makes sense to me.--tmeller 17:10, 15 April 2009 (UTC)


I've seen aeroway=airport in use in a number of locations, and (importantly) they are rendered differently. On the Mapnik layer, they are shown with a filled icon, vs. an outlined icon for aeroway=aerodrome. On the Osmarender layer, aeroway=aerodrome shows no icon at all. The rendering and the data agree that there is a difference, so we should look at defining a difference. I suggest that locations with regular passenger service (scheduled or charter) are tagged aeroway=airport, since for very many people this will be an important distinction. Chriscf 09:52, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Here is important distinction between airport, aerodrome and airfield, probably defined by ICAO. This distinction is usually propagated into local air safety laws. E. g., airport has air traffic control, maybe customs, and a lot of different services that could operate 24 h/day.

Airfield could be just a piece of lawn. So, difference is huge. DarkoS

Aircraft Training / Aviation Flight School

I realize it's not really an Aeroway tag, but I couldn't think of a better place to ask. Does a tag for this exist? Otherwise what would be a good tag? amenity=flight_school? --AndiG88 (talk) 23:25, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

What about aeroway=flight_school? -- Tinshack 04:56, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
I would rather state "amenity=flight_school as suggested. Flight schools need not necessarily be at an aerodrome, for example those that offer simulator training, or "ground class only". Jan olieslagers (talk) 16:20, 29 January 2017 (UTC)


Should a new tag aeroway=concourse be created ? Some airports (e.g. JFK Airport) have multiple terminals and some terminals (e.g. Terminal 4 in JFK) have multiple concourses (e.g Concourse A and B in Terminal 4 in JFK). I am not sure about the best way to map those concourses. There is definitely a parent-child relationship and concourses are buildings. Would that make Terminals be relations with concourses be buildings and part of a terminal relation as "outside"?

Air Traffic Control Radars

I've been collecting locations of Air Traffic Control radars at

Specifically, these are "secondary surveillance radars". For example, this is the radar with ID "LAXS" located on the south side of LAX airport:'56.7%22N+118%C2%B024'26.8%22W/@33.9314329,-118.4071841,59a,35y,7.1h,61.42t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0

I think these might make useful additions to OSM, but I wanted to check here to see what people thought; I have a couple questions. 1. I couldn't find a feature type that seemed appropriate, so I'd appreciate advice on tagging. 2. Would these best be entered by hand, or is it a good idea to import from the geojson I generated from government references? Thanks!

--Wiseman (talk) 20:46, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Radars are often placed atop tall structures visible for miles. That makes them worthy of mapping, in my book. I've used man_made=tower; aeroway=radar. As for import, you might want to do that manually. There's a good chance that some facilities you've listed are already in OSM. Even better if you can verify their existence on aerial imagery. Not all radars are for aviation: some could be weather or sea-related. -- Tinshack 04:52, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Runways: lines or areas?

This sentence is not quite clear: "Each runway should be drawn as a way and tagged as aeroway=runway with ref=*. Use surface=* for the runway surface. Runways can be defined as ways or as areas." First it says it "should" be drawn as a way, and then it says it "can" be drawn as areas too. Unless there's some specific need for drawing runways as ways, maybe it should be rephrased as: "Runways can be drawn as a way or as an area and they should be tagged as aeroway=runway with ref=*. Use surface=* for the runway surface."--Fernando Trebien (talk) 15:33, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

I think, you are right. Dinamik (talk) 07:10, 28 August 2014 (UTC)


At the moment it is written, that aeroway=runway can be area, but aeroway=taxiway can be only a way. I think, that taxiway can be relatively big as a runway. I think, we should allow aeroway=taxiway be at an area. Dinamik (talk) 07:09, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Why it "should not be used on areas"? I can't see a valid reason for this. --naoliv (talk) 20:22, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

I see a problem here, the yellow center line of the taxiway is followed by the plane. If your mark the taxiway as area the center line information is lost. In contrast to runways the width of a taxilane is varying, especially at intersections. Also consideration needs to be taken into rendering taxiway area on top of aeroway=apron.
But I prefer the highway approach: taxiway as definied here is a line following the yellow center line in the middle of a taxiway. This is an abstraction like the highway tag. For the area take Proposed_features/area:highway. highway=raceway also does this.
--Jojo4u (talk) 18:23, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
I think this is a good idea and I prefer "Option 2." The key area:aeroway=* would be a good solution to the mapping of a runway as well. It should be in addition to the tag aeroway=taxiway as there are good and valid reasons for someone to use either the centerline and/or area for a taxiway. It seems to me that many mappers are using sort of a weird hybrid mapping all of the curved connecting certerlines instead of just leaving it as an intersection (as you would with roads). Perhaps this would be a better alternative? --Fairchildbrad (talk) 20:14, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

I think it should be either an area or a way, just as is currently the case with runways. That is consistent with past edits, but allows additional detail moving forward.--Korky99 04 (talk) 04:30, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Did we ever have any resolution of this question? Just clearing a Note at an airport & spotted these: Taxiway? Apron? --Fizzie41 (talk) 05:51, 6 July 2022 (UTC)


Do we need aeroway=fuel? I mean should I add it to Map Features:aeroway? --geozeisig (talk) 07:35, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

Excuse me for not replying any sooner. I see no need for this, there are a good many aerodromes that already have their fuel station mapped just like cars' fuel stations - and why not. Jan olieslagers (talk) 16:24, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
Interesting would be a formal guideline about how to map the availability of various fuels: AvGas aka 100LL, Jet A1, Mogas 95, Mogas 98, ... Jan olieslagers (talk) 16:24, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
Resolved: Listed nowadays Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:34, 14 March 2023 (UTC)


There's currently no description how to tag a spaceport / cosmodrome, three different examples :




could be used rtfm Rtfm (talk) 18:31, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm not sure aeroway is the right key, it is about aircraft and air travel, while spacecraft typically try to escape the air to get rid of the friction/air resistance, rather than using it as ascending force. --Dieterdreist (talk) 14:08, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I also thought about that, but I think it's similar to the difference between an underground ('tube') and a train (not as the difference between bus and train), which are subsumed as "Railways" in OSM, so "aeroway" would be the equivalent. And there are also mixtures between planes and rockets, such as the landing of space shuttles or the concept of Virgin Galactic. I'm more concerned whether "landingpad" might be confused with "helipad" or "landing_site" (and therefore something like "rocket_" should be included). rtfm Rtfm (talk) 14:29, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I still don't agree, because a subway like a tram is railbased, but spacecraft is not an aircraft. There are edge cases though, like the space shuttle or the blackbird.--Dieterdreist (talk) 16:40, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't get the point, this is not about tagging the vehicles (propulsion) types, but about the infrastructure on the ground. Certainly a launchpad/landingpad differs from a runway. Submarines also use harbours, unless they don't swim, but dive (in case you meant that spacecrafts leave the atmosphere after takeoff). If a train is loaded to a ship on it's way, the railway station where it left is still called a railway station ? Partially spacecrafts use the same infrastructure, see landing sites (especially the private driven use normal airports). There are also hybrid spaceports. I think too much differentiation would lead to more mapping problems than it would help. rtfm Rtfm (talk) 19:27, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
Using a different key is usually better if you expect partial overlap because otherwise you will have to make exceptions (additional property like spaceport=yes) or multiple values. My suggestions were using either spaceway, amenity or man_made as a key for spaceports. --Dieterdreist (talk) 23:42, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
I am OK with using aeroway as the main key (even space crafts travels through the air the first few hundred kilometers :-) There are not so many features right now on earth. The current documented scheme (spaceport for the outline with launch and landing pads inside) is fine for me. --Zuse (talk) 18:50, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
maybe somewhere space craft do travel for the first few hundred kilometers through the air, but I was referring to the planet Earth, where the atmosphere will not allow for aircraft to fly above a few kilometers (e.g. 15 km for a jet or in the extreme case of the SR-71 Blackbird 26 km (but already requiring pressurized suits). --Dieterdreist (talk) 20:51, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
But how does this affect the tagging ? rtfm Rtfm (talk) 22:15, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Because "The aeroway key is used to tag physical infrastructure used to support aircraft and air travel, ..." it doesn't apply to infrastructure in support of spacecraft and spacetravel. The definition of the key aeroway would have to be extended to accomodate spaceports. There's a fundamental difference between aircraft and spacecraft, I don't know which part of this is hard to understand. --Dieterdreist (talk) 23:36, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
I also don't mind using aeroway=* for spaceports. We do not need to create another main key. Chrabroš (talk) 01:44, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm in favour of keeping aeroway=* for spaceports as well, as the ground features mapped on a terrestrial map are functionally the same for destinations outside or inside the atmosphere. What they map on the ground (with routing potential) are functional/spatial elements for the interaction of the vehicle with the ground (runway, pad, taxiway, apron, hangar), or for the localisation/routing of the the payload or passengers (gate, terminal).
The prefix rocket_ implies vehicle propulsion technology, which is not the scope of the mapping of terrestrial features and tagging their properties. However I also see a dead-end street in the tags launchpad and landingpad. Such scheme implies one-way directionality (e.g. for routing), unlike similar vehicle/ground interaction features (runway, highway, pier) which are by default bidirectional. For bidirectional pads this would require oneway=no (and then the chicken problem would become the egg problem again – do you tag the bidirectional -pad as lauch- or landing-?). If there is any realistic likelihood that bidirectional pads would need tagging, it would be more universal (and future-proof) to use a bidirectional scheme (for which I don't really have a proposal now, beyond e.g. aeroway=spacepad with launch=yes and/or landing=yes). --AtonX (talk) 23:05, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the input, seems legit to me, therefore added it to the "formal" discussion page : Talk:Proposed features/include_spacecraft_in_aeroway as aeroway=rocketpad (a two-way usable pad) rtfm Rtfm (talk) 16:02, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

The proposal is currently been voted on. Please comment. rtfm Rtfm (talk) 23:08, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Air traffic control tower

There are 2 ways to map the tower:

Which tag of both should be preferred?--geozeisig (talk) 09:49, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

I do not understand why the tower subtag uses the service key for what we usually use the key tower_type=*. The service key is already used for different kind of things, and adding more doesn't seem a good idea, especially, as this is not a very established tag (~200 uses). By looking at booth tags, I'd see aeroway=tower as the tag for the function air control, while the man_made=tower and subtype are descriptions of the tower object. If you follow this interpretation, the question which one is "preferred" does not make sense.
FWIW, I'd rather push man_made=control_tower or man_made=airtraffic_control_tower --Dieterdreist (talk) 13:24, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
I cannot claim any authority on tagging in general, but in this particular case I never saw the sense of "man_made:tower". All and everything about an aerodrome is man_made, the runways and the hangars and the windsocks and what not. All these are mapped as aeroway=.... - why should the control tower be any different? So for me it should be "aeroway:tower" or "aeroway:control" or whatever. My 0,02 € ... Jan olieslagers (talk) 14:59, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Dieterdreist that service=* makes no sense in this context and falls out of line with the other towers. In my opinion tower:type=* is perfectly fine and with aircraft_control there's even a value that already has some usage and seems ok. But I also remembered that harbours might also have control towers and sure enough this is the case, see for example Genoa or A Coruña. So with this in mind a more general value like control or traffic_control might be better.
I also agree that a tag in the aeroway namespace could be used in conjunction with man_made. But instead of aeroway=tower I would propose a more general term that could be enhanced with a subtag, aeroway=air_traffic_control and air_traffic_control=area/terminal/tower/apron might be an option. In Frankfurt for example apron control is situated in two quite distinct structures which are build on top of the terminals and aren't towers (Apron Control West & Apron Control East).--TOGA (talk) 02:01, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
Some good points there. There certainly are control towers for other things than aerodromes: I just added one controlling two bridges over a canal (node 5977431785); but I also seem to remember them overseeing locks in the Antwerp port, and railway shunting yards. Jan olieslagers (talk) 05:52, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
Although in this discussion nobody favored the service=* option it currently is the one specifcally recommended on the aeroway=* main page (in a very confusing way) in at least English and German. Somebody familiar with the topic should fix this before someone actually uses it ;)
--Stefanct (talk) 21:51, 30 August 2020 (UTC)

I just need to map a "control tower", commonly known as the building where operators have a visual feedback on what's going on. Using service tagging schema, how can I discrimminate if visual control or instrumental? (radar) Cascafico (talk) 09:49, 12 May 2021 (UTC)

It seems to me you are looking into needless subtlety. Shall we map the window-sills on houses? Shall we map the flowerpots on the window-sills? Shall we map the kind of flowers in the flowerpots on the window-sills? Shall we map the color of the flowers in the flowerpots on the window-sills? I mean there must be a limit, somewhere, to the level of detail that we provide.Jan olieslagers (talk) 13:16, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
More importantly: there can be a tower-like construction on an aerodrome, and we can and should map it - but to call it a "control tower" implies that it has "control", meaning that only a controlled airfield can have a control tower. In Italy, for example, I understand a Campo di Volo can never have a control tower because it can never be a controlled aerodrome. They can build whatever they want, be it a swimming pool or a statue of Marco Polo or whatever, and if they call it a control tower then we cannot stop them. But we should think twice before mapping it as a control tower because we would then imply there is a controlling authority at this aerodrome, as there isn't. And indeed I do remember in Italy many funny little buildings looking like miniature control towers, for example at LILR Cremona, obviously built because of some legal obligation, but rarely used, if ever. Jan olieslagers (talk) 13:16, 12 May 2021 (UTC)

aeroway=terminal implies building=yes?

The section for aeroway=terminal says that tag "Implies building=yes" but that isn't reflected in JOSM or other tools -- the JOSM validator will give you an error message of "missing tag - aeroway=terminal without building”. I think that section should be revised, replacing "Implies building=yes" with "Add an appropriate building tag". Thoughts? --Awiseman (talk) 17:13, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

Implied tagging is never a good idea in my opinion. So yes, do add a "building=yes" tag to terminals. I see more and more hangars likewise tagged with "building=yes + aeroway=hangar". Jan olieslagers (talk) 18:02, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Resolved: Fixed nowadays Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:35, 14 March 2023 (UTC)

aeroway=drone_launch ?

Hi all, how should a ramp/rack (station) be called to launch drones such as  Zipline_(drone_delivery) ? rtfm Rtfm (talk) 14:48, 15 May 2021 (UTC)

In my humble opinion, they would best be mapped much in the same way as R/C model fields. That is to say with "leisure=pitch"+"sport=xyz". The more so that I have seen fields where both drones and r/c models are flown. Thanks for reaching out, much appreciated! Jan olieslagers (talk) 15:11, 15 May 2021 (UTC)
In this case, it's more a commercial technical installation for a  Delivery_drone, see So IMHO leisure doesn't fit and it's not just a "field". rtfm Rtfm (talk) 15:19, 15 May 2021 (UTC)
My guess is that it would be tagged the same why you would tag any other aeroway. Since it doesn't really change the nature of a runway just because there's no one behind the wheel of the plane taking off from it. Otherwise, I'd just go with whatever is already being used for non-space flight launchpads. I don't think creating a specific new tag for it is necessary either. There aren't enough of them for it to matter. Plus, it adds zero extra value over existing tags. --Adamant1 (talk) 17:27, 15 May 2021 (UTC)
We're talking about a structure looking like this
Zipline Drone Launch.jpg
rtfm Rtfm (talk) 18:13, 15 May 2021 (UTC)
I'm aware. So what's your point? Also, a link to the picture would have worked just fine. Maybe provide one next time instead of uselessly filling the discussion with a picture. --Adamant1 (talk) 18:42, 15 May 2021 (UTC)

Aircraft crossing


I have written a proposal for a new aeroway tag to represent aircraft crossings (here), and would love feedback from those familiar with the aeroway tagging scheme. I'm not planning to seek votes to approve it for several weeks, so feel free to leave as much/little feedback as necessary. Diacritic (talk) 06:24, 9 February 2022 (UTC)

Hello again. Voting has started for Proposed_features/Aircraft_crossing. If you are interested, please check out the proposal and leave your thoughts. Diacritic (talk) 02:08, 27 May 2022 (UTC)
Resolved: Listed on the page nowadays Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:36, 14 March 2023 (UTC)

Taxiway with OneWay

When a aeroway=holding position is marked NO ACCESS, it makes sense to add oneway=yes to the taxiway element. There are about 550 combinations of aeroway=taxiway with oneway=yes. But there is no rendering.

A ticket has been opened on to see if this evolution is necessary and possible. -- Phd0 (talk) 13:17, 23 August 2022 (UTC)

Launchpad for suborbital civilian launches

The (spacecraft) launchpad tag has been used for (AFAIK) three other purposes so far :

IMHO they should already be distinguished with the "main" tag, not only by additional ones. There are currently the following similar ones :

Following the "military" logic, one could use

but balloon ones could also be "dual-purpose". Another option would be

--> so both vehicle types would be "subsumed" under the purpose (again similar to the "military" logic). Or "purpose-neutral" (just to distinguish from "orbital" / space purpose ones :

It's not likely the suborbital ones (like anti-hail) could also be used for orbital launches, unless microlaunchers need less infrastructure than big rockets. I assume there will be more entries of the (civilian) "suborbital" ones in the near future, so it should be possible to distinguish them from orbital ones at first glance. Thoughts ? Rtfm (talk) 15:44, 25 March 2023 (UTC)

Signs on taxiways

There are signs, "28L-10R" where a taxiway crosses a runway.

Indeed the same "28L-10R" is also painted on the pavement. Mention how to map. Jidanni (talk) 04:07, 28 March 2023 (UTC)

Heliport: "typical lack of runway"

I think we should remove this mention. The reason is the recent tendency for helicopters to operate as much as possible according to the same procedures as fixed wing planes; to the point that recently constructed heliports often do have a runway, although shortish. One example is way 585516454. Jan olieslagers (talk) 09:51, 21 May 2023 (UTC) Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 18:29, 22 May 2023 (UTC)
Thanks. Would you also have an opinion to share? Failing any, I will soon take the liberty to adjust the article accordingly. Jan olieslagers (talk) 19:18, 23 May 2023 (UTC)
I feel that lack of runway is still typical but I have no great experience with such infrastructure. But every single one I have seen in Poland was without runway Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 14:05, 24 May 2023 (UTC)
Thanks again :) . I feel that my point is mostly semantic, perhaps not worth insisting. Still, the "typical" is an unfortunate word, here, I'll be brooding on something better. Jan olieslagers (talk) 10:37, 25 May 2023 (UTC)

How about "occasionally / sometimes"? --Fizzie41 (talk) 21:50, 25 May 2023 (UTC)

There should be a concise way to indicate that, historically, heliports had no runways, but that today there is a tendency for them to have one (or, just perhaps, even several). But, again, it is a semantical point, not worth much discussion. One day, the right phrase will flash through my mind - perhaps even in a dream sent from heaven :) Jan olieslagers (talk) 21:55, 25 May 2023 (UTC)