Proposal talk:Aerodrome

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In my understanding, the alternative "aerodrome=public/private" would be better handled by the access tag.

As a definition of aerodrome, I would rather propose :

  • aerodrome=airsport clubs where aircraft is used mostly for entertainment, and sometimes for informal teaching. Use access=private if the airport is not open to the public air traffic.
  • aerodrome=airstrip roughly equipped place where specific plane can land and take-off.
  • aerodrome=commercial typical place where you go to fly to a destination
  • aerodrome=military purely military airport
  • aerodrome=mountain airport aerodromes with special characteristics, provided in mountains for the needs of air transport operations. Mountain airports are approved for restricted use and are reserved for pilots and aircrafts meeting special requirement as set out by the head of the aeronautical district
  • aerodrome=mountain airfield places located in mountains which can be used by some aircraft with specific authorisation
  • aerodrome=heliport fully equipped commercial airport for helicopter
  • aerodrome=helipad Place which can be used by some helicopters. Use access=private if the airport is not open to the public air traffic.
  • aerodrome=water base place where float planes can take-off and land

--Art Penteur (talk) 20:27, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Some comments:
1. Even though an heliport/helipad is technically an aerodrome, they already are tagged using aeroway=helipad. I think we could keep it that way.
2. Although aerodrome=public isn't completely unambiguous, aerodrome=commercial also sounds ambiguous to me. Besides a "public use aerodrome", it could also mean commercial goods air transport.
3. About airsport clubs, we just have to take into consideration that some clubs don't have their own aerodrome (maybe using/renting a public use aerodrome). Probably club=airspost will help with that. We could still use aerodrome=airsport together if there isn't another way to classify the aerodrome.
4. I'm afraid I don't understand what's a public aerodrome when it's not a "public use aerodrome" (what you called commercial). Could you explain? (I don't know much about aerodromes)a
--Jgpacker (talk) 21:18, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Good points.
1. OK. I wrote these few lines too quickly. I withdraw my proposal of aerodrome=helipad. Only remaining question for a large heliport, what is better : aeroway=helipad + helipad=heliport , or aerodrome=heliport conaining one or many areas labelled aeroway=helipad ? This will go to another discussion.
2.Sure, but is it a problem ? We could add this precision with other(s) tag(s). First idea, without thinking : passenger airline=yes/no if passenger airline are operating (or not) from this airport. freight airline=yes/no. And so on, you get the idea. A better choice of tag names and values might be possible.
3.Fully agreed. I can imagine small local airports, where no commercial airline operate, owned by some public structure (or whatever), where more than one club operate. In this case, owner=* and operator=* will be useful. I don't see the need for club=airsport, but I might be wrong. In most cases, different clubs have different hangars and club houses. Their names can appear there.
4. In my view, an aerodrome=commercial is where you go to take a plane to travel (either regular airline or private charter jets). It is always "public" : anybody with enough money can go there and travel. On an aerodrome=airsport, you have no commercial airlines operating, but aircraft can land and take off, for leisure, sport, or specific aerial work purpose. It is public if it is open to public air traffic (anybody with standard aircraft and standard pilot qualification can use it). If the use restriction comes from the fact that you have to be the owner, or belong to a specific club, or company, then it is private, and I propose to use the general access=private for this. I recognize that it might be confusing, so I can agree with alternative proposals such as traffic=public/private. If the use restriction comes from technical reasons, then it is probably another kind of aerodrome (such as aerodrome=mountain airport/mountain airfield/water base)
Comments from --ElliottPlack (talk) 22:20, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
* aerodrome=airstrip roughly equipped place where specific plane can land and take-off.
This could be confusing with military=airstrip though I can see what you meant. The Airstrip preset in iD uses the military tag but it currently makes no mention that it is a military feature. --ElliottPlack (talk) 22:19, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Major / Minor Classification


This proposal provides an excellent opportunity to classify airports / aerodromes by their relative importance, something that is needed for better cartography as seem on the openstreetmap-carto issue on GitHub). In addition to the types proposed above, it might be good to incorporate the ICAO classifications laid out in that UN backed organization's definitions (see table 1-1). In the US, the FAA also has some classifications.

Perhaps simple types of major or minor, or large, medium, and small would be useful. Thoughts on using established classifications?


I have just made a proposal Proposed features/aeroway=heliport and then found this one. I think aeroway=heliport is preferred, because it can stand on its' own legs (they have even "Heliport" in the name, just like "Airport" is in the name of many aerodromes) and aeroway=* namespace is clear to add another element. aerodrome=* is not a "primary" tag and it has a lot of types mixed together. Let's think of "private" value for example:

aeroway=heliport + heliport=private

makes much more sense to me than

aeroway=aerodrome + aerodrome=heliport + heliport=private.

- Kocio (talk) 14:53, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

aeroway=heliport is currently approved, so I propose to add heliport=* key as well to make both keys compatible by definition (with clear exceptions if we find them). Is there anybody - especially creator - interested in working with this proposition? -- Kocio (talk) 09:29, 21 October 2015 (UTC)


Please also consider (military rocket) launchpads, see aeroway=spaceport There's currently no differentiation between "private" and "military" for those, anyway it's difficult to differentiate in this case, i.e. the only two current ("private") landingpads are at military sites (Cape Canaveral Air Force Station / Vandenberg Air Force Base), There are others planned, though (see wikipedia:SpaceX_launch_facilities and wikipedia:List_of_rocket_launch_sites).

rtfm Rtfm (talk) 18:43, 10 May 2017 (UTC)


The proposal is now older than one year and imo very worthwhile, but it seems that there has not been any progress recently. Is a progress into RFC and vote still on the agenda? --Tordanik 18:34, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Author of the proposition has no plan to work on it, but he gave me a green light to take it over. I'm interested only in the "international" part, so we can work on it together, if you want, but the rest is something you can make it the way you like. - Kocio (talk) 22:50, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
My main concern is getting rid of the type key and thus the conflict with type=multipolygon. Unfortunately, I'm not very knowledgeable in this area, so I'm probably not the best person to work on this proposal... --Tordanik 13:14, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Just wanted to say that as an experienced OSM mapper coming across this issue for the first time the use of Aerodrome=[details] makes a great deal of sense to me. I dislike any idea of using an 'access=?' tag because on the whole any airport/aerodrome will be private (or staff only) access to one degree or another, even if used for public flights. Any more formal definition of this tag should take account of the fact that many aerodromes will have a mixed use. Many, for instance, will have international flights, domestic flights, and will be used for recreation by private light aircraft. So perhaps a definition should be based on whether 'most' flights are of a certain character - or maybe for commercial flights that there is at least one commercial flight per week/month/year? I bet we can also find 'military' airfields which allow private or commercial use sometimes too. Rostranimin (talk) 19:08, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
The other day there was a news report that a civilian Airbus A380 landed at RNZAF Ohakea Airbase (a military airport) because Auckland International Airport, the primary destination airport, was closed due to another aircraft blocking the runway after it aborted a take-off. It turns out that Ohakea is approved as an alternate destination for some international civilian operators. Civilian operators also share or can arrange to use other military airfields in New Zealand, too. While Operation Deep Freeze at Christchurch International Airport flies civilian scientists using military aircraft to and from Antarctica. The flights are non-commercial and support an international scientific operation. So the real world is even weirder than you think. I think the term civil or civilian could be used, rather than the term commercial, to identify non-military flights. - Huttite (talk) 04:56, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

'Type', something more descriptive?

The word 'type' does not describe what is being tagged. Rather than use 'type' the following might be more helpfull? Warin61 (talk) 22:07, 12 October 2017 (UTC)


Common practice has 'Domestic', International' and 'military'. There could also be some tag for agricultural/farm use of crop dusting etc.

So aerodrome:use=international/domestic/military/* to describe the use of the aerodrome. Warin61 (talk) 22:07, 12 October 2017 (UTC)


If the importance of the thing needs to be tagged then possibly use a new tag 'prominence' and has this tag as a property tag so it could be used on things like mountains (peaks)?

Warin61 (talk) 22:07, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Access tag for private/public etc

As commented above, I think the access tag should be used to designate private/public access just like other features. No need to make a new tagging scheme just for this. Warin61 (talk) 22:16, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Promote to "in use"

We currently have 1100 uses of this tag: (I've added a few of those myself in the past), so I think it's now appropriate to promote this key to "in use". Is this OK with everyone?