Aerodrome classification

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Aerodrome classification

Joseph Eisenberg
How should we classify different types of aerodromes?

We can already distinguish private aerodromes with the access tag
"access=private" and military aerodromes with "military=airfield", and
heliports have their own tag, but currently large international
airports and tiny airstrips are not clearly distinguished.

I believe we can make a reasonable distinction between major classes
of aerodromes:

1) Airstrips without buildings or any other developed features

2) Developed general aviation aerodromes which do not offer any
regularly scheduled public, commercial passenger service

3) Commercial airports which offer regularly scheduled commercial
passenger service

History:

In the very early years of OSM, there were three types of features
where planes could land: aeroway=airport for airports,
aeroway=airfield for undeveloped airstrips, and  aeroway=aerodrome for
general aviation sites, if I understand the history correctly. These
were rendered differently back in 2008, it appears, based on the old
discussion in the talk pages.

However, at some point all of the aeroway=airport and aeroway=airfield
features were edited (I don't know if it was done over a few months or
all at once) to aeroway=aerodrome, which was defined to mean any place
where aviation operations regularly take place, except for military
airports, which are tagged miltary=airfield.

Unfortunately, while this may work for pilots and aviation usage, it's
not very sensible for general mappers. Some mappers have used
aeroway=airstrip for small airfields without buildings or any other
developed features, so that they will not be rendered. Others have
proposed tags to specify the type of aerodrome.

The oldest classification system used "type=*" but this conflicts with
the key used for relations such as type=multipolygon.

Another option was "aerodrome:type=" which has been used a couple of
thousand times, but has not been clearly defined:
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:aerodrome:type

The most recent proposal in 2014 suggested using "aerodrome=*" which
seems to fit best with the usual way of tagging the type or main
classification of a feature.
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Aerodrome

I think this last option should be developed further, but we need to
decide which values of "aerodrome=*" are viable.

Mainly I'm interested in places with or without regular passenger
service, since this is of greatest interest to most map users, but
perhaps there could also be specific tags for cargo-only aerodromes
and other specialized facilities.

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Re: Aerodrome classification

Colin Smale

Let's separate the tagging from the rendering, like we are supposed to do.

Firstly, the tagging: how do we model an aerodrome.

There are so many ways of classifying aerodromes. From a pilot's perspective, there are at least the physical aspects (how long/wide is the runway?), the aviation facilities (instrument approaches etc) and the ground facilities (refuelling, repairs, customs, ...). Then there are dimensions like movements per year, military/commercial/GA, etc.

http://www.airfieldcharts.com/airportcategorisation.htm

 

Each one of these dimensions can (should!) be represented independently in OSM. They are objective and verifiable.

But now, the question is what combinations of these attributes should be rendered in a specific way? Pleasing to whose eyes?

C.

On 2019-05-20 14:10, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:

How should we classify different types of aerodromes?

We can already distinguish private aerodromes with the access tag
"access=private" and military aerodromes with "military=airfield", and
heliports have their own tag, but currently large international
airports and tiny airstrips are not clearly distinguished.

I believe we can make a reasonable distinction between major classes
of aerodromes:

1) Airstrips without buildings or any other developed features

2) Developed general aviation aerodromes which do not offer any
regularly scheduled public, commercial passenger service

3) Commercial airports which offer regularly scheduled commercial
passenger service

History:

In the very early years of OSM, there were three types of features
where planes could land: aeroway=airport for airports,
aeroway=airfield for undeveloped airstrips, and  aeroway=aerodrome for
general aviation sites, if I understand the history correctly. These
were rendered differently back in 2008, it appears, based on the old
discussion in the talk pages.

However, at some point all of the aeroway=airport and aeroway=airfield
features were edited (I don't know if it was done over a few months or
all at once) to aeroway=aerodrome, which was defined to mean any place
where aviation operations regularly take place, except for military
airports, which are tagged miltary=airfield.

Unfortunately, while this may work for pilots and aviation usage, it's
not very sensible for general mappers. Some mappers have used
aeroway=airstrip for small airfields without buildings or any other
developed features, so that they will not be rendered. Others have
proposed tags to specify the type of aerodrome.

The oldest classification system used "type=*" but this conflicts with
the key used for relations such as type=multipolygon.

Another option was "aerodrome:type=" which has been used a couple of
thousand times, but has not been clearly defined:
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:aerodrome:type

The most recent proposal in 2014 suggested using "aerodrome=*" which
seems to fit best with the usual way of tagging the type or main
classification of a feature.
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Aerodrome

I think this last option should be developed further, but we need to
decide which values of "aerodrome=*" are viable.

Mainly I'm interested in places with or without regular passenger
service, since this is of greatest interest to most map users, but
perhaps there could also be specific tags for cargo-only aerodromes
and other specialized facilities.

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Re: Aerodrome classification

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by Joseph Eisenberg

Am Mo., 20. Mai 2019 um 14:12 Uhr schrieb Joseph Eisenberg <[hidden email]>:
How should we classify different types of aerodromes?

We can already distinguish private aerodromes with the access tag
"access=private" and military aerodromes with "military=airfield", and
heliports have their own tag, but currently large international
airports and tiny airstrips are not clearly distinguished.

I believe we can make a reasonable distinction between major classes
of aerodromes:

1) Airstrips without buildings or any other developed features

2) Developed general aviation aerodromes which do not offer any
regularly scheduled public, commercial passenger service

3) Commercial airports which offer regularly scheduled commercial
passenger service


other proposed classification systems have referred to number, size and surface of runways.

 

History:

In the very early years of OSM, there were three types of features
where planes could land: aeroway=airport for airports,
aeroway=airfield for undeveloped airstrips, and  aeroway=aerodrome for
general aviation sites, if I understand the history correctly. These
were rendered differently back in 2008, it appears, based on the old
discussion in the talk pages.


IIRR, airfield and airport were never promoted in the wiki, although there have been rendering rules, this wasn't established tagging by the time, and was more occassional than frequent use. There have been other rules as well (e.g. place=metropolis), which have never had any usage at all (unlike aeroway=airport, which had almost 450 uses by the beginning of 2008 and was then mass retagged).


...Some mappers have used
aeroway=airstrip for small airfields without buildings or any other
developed features, so that they will not be rendered. Others have
proposed tags to specify the type of aerodrome.


indeed aeroway=airstrip is "quite common" (4474 uses now, compared to 41000 aerodromes and 50000 runways)

Current tags for"subtagging" are

3 110 aerodrome:type

with these values:
public 1 291
private 337
regional 309
military 293
military/public 262
airfield 237
international 201
gliding 66
civil 54
airstrip 20


1 379 aerodrome

with these values:
international 386
airstrip 193
public 167
private 137
regional 131
airsport 77
airfield 73
mountain␣airfield 43
gliding 41
military 31
domestic 24





The most recent proposal in 2014 suggested using "aerodrome=*" which
seems to fit best with the usual way of tagging the type or main
classification of a feature.
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Aerodrome

Cheers,
Martin


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Re: Aerodrome classification

Joseph Eisenberg
> "number, size and surface of runways."

This information can already be mapped, but it isn't very helpful for
a person search for "closest airports to me" in an application.

There are a number of large aerodromes that do not have public
flights. Military airfields are a common example, but there are also
cargo-only airports, and airports that have been built, but lack
commercial service.

The airport in Everett, Washington just recently started commercial
passenger flights, but before it was used by Boeing to ship out their
new planes for years.

Their is a large airport in Palmdale, California which was built by
the organization that manages LAX, intended to server Los Angeles, but
it has not had any scheduled flights for over 10 years:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmdale_Regional_Airport

It seem to me that the presence of public passenger flights is the
basic idea of the word "airport" to the general public (pilots certain
have different ideas, but they have their own specialized databases),
and it would be good if we could tag this in a consistent way.

For use by pilots, and for people considering charter flights, it may
be useful to make a distinction between "general aviation" airports
that have services like hangars, fuel, staff etc, versus an airstrip
in a farmer's field which lacks any services or facilities other than
an unpaved runway.

On 5/20/19, Martin Koppenhoefer <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Am Mo., 20. Mai 2019 um 14:12 Uhr schrieb Joseph Eisenberg <
> [hidden email]>:
>
>> How should we classify different types of aerodromes?
>>
>> We can already distinguish private aerodromes with the access tag
>> "access=private" and military aerodromes with "military=airfield", and
>> heliports have their own tag, but currently large international
>> airports and tiny airstrips are not clearly distinguished.
>>
>> I believe we can make a reasonable distinction between major classes
>> of aerodromes:
>>
>> 1) Airstrips without buildings or any other developed features
>>
>> 2) Developed general aviation aerodromes which do not offer any
>> regularly scheduled public, commercial passenger service
>>
>> 3) Commercial airports which offer regularly scheduled commercial
>> passenger service
>>
>
>
> other proposed classification systems have referred to number, size and
> surface of runways.
>
>
>
>>
>> History:
>>
>> In the very early years of OSM, there were three types of features
>> where planes could land: aeroway=airport for airports,
>> aeroway=airfield for undeveloped airstrips, and  aeroway=aerodrome for
>> general aviation sites, if I understand the history correctly. These
>> were rendered differently back in 2008, it appears, based on the old
>> discussion in the talk pages.
>>
>
>
> IIRR, airfield and airport were never promoted in the wiki, although there
> have been rendering rules, this wasn't established tagging by the time, and
> was more occassional than frequent use. There have been other rules as well
> (e.g. place=metropolis), which have never had any usage at all (unlike
> aeroway=airport, which had almost 450 uses by the beginning of 2008 and was
> then mass retagged).
>
>
> ...Some mappers have used
>
>> aeroway=airstrip for small airfields without buildings or any other
>> developed features, so that they will not be rendered. Others have
>> proposed tags to specify the type of aerodrome.
>>
>
>
> indeed aeroway=airstrip is "quite common" (4474 uses now, compared to 41000
> aerodromes and 50000 runways)
>
> Current tags for"subtagging" are
>
> 3 110 aerodrome:type
>
> with these values:
> public 1 291
> private 337
> regional 309
> military 293
> military/public 262
> airfield 237
> international 201
> gliding 66
> civil 54
> airstrip 20
>
>
> 1 379 aerodrome
>
> with these values:
> international 386
> airstrip 193
> public 167
> private 137
> regional 131
> airsport 77
> airfield 73
> mountain␣airfield 43
> gliding 41
> military 31
> domestic 24
>
>
>
>
>
> The most recent proposal in 2014 suggested using "aerodrome=*" which
> seems to fit best with the usual way of tagging the type or main
> classification of a feature.
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Aerodrome
>
> Cheers,
> Martin
>

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Re: Aerodrome classification

Jan S


Am 20. Mai 2019 16:30:30 MESZ schrieb Joseph Eisenberg <[hidden email]>:

>
>It seem to me that the presence of public passenger flights is the
>basic idea of the word "airport" to the general public (pilots certain
>have different ideas, but they have their own specialized databases),
>and it would be good if we could tag this in a consistent way.
>
>For use by pilots, and for people considering charter flights, it may
>be useful to make a distinction between "general aviation" airports
>that have services like hangars, fuel, staff etc, versus an airstrip
>in a farmer's field which lacks any services or facilities other than
>an unpaved runway.

I assume that OSM will not be used for aviatory navigation purposes out of security reasons ( at least I hope the pilots flying me around do so following aviation-specific maps...) . Rather, it's aim is to serve people on the ground. So we shouldn't primarily look at the requirements of pilots but of ordinary users. So I agree with Joseph that the relevant differentiation happens between airfields with only general aviation and airports with commercial services. This line should be clearly drawn in mapping. Also, this enables renderers to only show commercial airports on larger scales and not any airstrip in the same way as big international airports.

Facilities at airports that may be relevant to pilots should then be tagged apart from the classification of the airport.

Best, Jan

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Re: Aerodrome classification

Colin Smale

On 2019-05-20 17:49, Jan S wrote:



Am 20. Mai 2019 16:30:30 MESZ schrieb Joseph Eisenberg <[hidden email]>:

It seem to me that the presence of public passenger flights is the
basic idea of the word "airport" to the general public (pilots certain
have different ideas, but they have their own specialized databases),
and it would be good if we could tag this in a consistent way.

For use by pilots, and for people considering charter flights, it may
be useful to make a distinction between "general aviation" airports
that have services like hangars, fuel, staff etc, versus an airstrip
in a farmer's field which lacks any services or facilities other than
an unpaved runway.

I assume that OSM will not be used for aviatory navigation purposes out of security reasons ( at least I hope the pilots flying me around do so following aviation-specific maps...) . Rather, it's aim is to serve people on the ground. So we shouldn't primarily look at the requirements of pilots but of ordinary users. So I agree with Joseph that the relevant differentiation happens between airfields with only general aviation and airports with commercial services. This line should be clearly drawn in mapping. Also, this enables renderers to only show commercial airports on larger scales and not any airstrip in the same way as big international airports.

Facilities at airports that may be relevant to pilots should then be tagged apart from the classification of the airport.
 
There are plenty of tiny airports with commercial services, and plenty of larger facilities without. Is Barra (BRR)[1] going to be more prominent than a giant military airfield?
 
 
The renderer (cartographer) decides what is to be prominent on the map. The role of OSM tagging is to enable these choices. If it is aiming at giving the commercial passenger a graphical overview as a use case, then I might agree with your "filter" but there are other use cases which are just as valid, such as the visual landmark function for ground or air navigation in which case the presence of commercial services is not as relevant as the size of the campus and associated buildings.
 
C.
 

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Re: Aerodrome classification

Graeme Fitzpatrick
In reply to this post by Joseph Eisenberg


On Mon, 20 May 2019 at 22:12, Joseph Eisenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:

I believe we can make a reasonable distinction between major classes
of aerodromes:

1) Airstrips without buildings or any other developed features

2) Developed general aviation aerodromes which do not offer any
regularly scheduled public, commercial passenger service

3) Commercial airports which offer regularly scheduled commercial
passenger service

I'd go along with these definitions

Airstrips are simple grass or dirt strips with no, or very limited, facilities, that may be either private, or open to all aircraft.

Aerodromes are established facilities, usually with a sealed runway/s & taxiways & other facilities eg hangars & fuel, but which don't operate commercial services. These would often be flying clubs eg https://www.gcsfc.org.au/

Airports are anything that operate what is called RPT: 

Regular Public Transport

Flight operations performed for remuneration and conducted to fixed schedules over specific routes, and on which seats and/or cargo space is available to the general public.

It doesn't matter whether it's the above mentioned Barra or Heathrow / LAX / Frankfurt - if it operates RPT it's an airport, if it doesn't, it's not. Also note that cargo is still classified as RPT, so a cargo-only airport, would still be an airport.

I'm not certain how best to work places such as Newcastle Airport https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newcastle_Airport_(New_South_Wales) / RAAF Williamtown https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAAF_Base_Williamtown, which share a common runway, with the civillian terminal on one side & military operations on the other - 2 tags, one airway=airport & the other military=airbase?

Thanks

Graeme

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Re: Aerodrome classification

Tagging mailing list
In reply to this post by Joseph Eisenberg


On May 20, 2019, at 9:10 PM, Joseph Eisenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:

Some mappers have used
aeroway=airstrip for small airfields without buildings or any other
developed features

I have mapped airstrips like this. The tag is important, beyond any decision to more granularly map =aerodrome areas. 

Airstrips are usually:

- very short
- an unimproved surface like dirt or grass
- little to no improvement or maintenance beyond what a tractor provides. 
- little-to-no navigation aids
- little-to-no amenities for planes or pilots 
- very limited use by locals or a single purpose company (crop spraying, gliders, etc). 


Publically available flight maps for pilots also make these kinds of distinctions. Large airports of any kind (general aviation, commercial passenger, military) are mapped quite similar, but private dirt airstrips are mapped very differently. They merely are marked.

Here is a proper permanent runway - a nice maintained asphalt runway for smaller planes, center line paint, apron for parking - but with no tower / amenities /navigation aids of any kind: Agua Caliente. It is the smallest runway I would map as an  =areodrome I could think of. 


See how it is just a purple mark? These grass airstrips are not even mapped that way. To the north, The Desert Wings Sky is mapped with an R. It is a short bulldozed flat sandy area in the middle of an old ranch. The surface, condition, length, lack of any navigation aids, and *expected usage* (glider tugs) all set it apart from even the most meager and rarely used maintained runways like Agua Caliente. 

Boreggo Valley (further north) is the local areodrome with a large runway, fuel, staff, and navigation aids. Even without a control tower, this is easily an areodrome.

In my mapping, there are several grass strips, with no improvements of any kind (beyond what a lawnmower could provide), used for tug-plane or winch-launched gliders and skydiving planes to operate out of in the middle of a swamp or along the river in the flood plain. 

There is no way in hell I would map them as an areoway=areodrome - putting it on the map in any way similar to the local general aviation airports or the military and civilian heliports is A-number-one bad mapping - like mapping an anthill as an apartment complex; they are not the same thing whatsoever. 

Similar to the "R" used in flight maps, using =airstrip to designate these low-quality and limited-use airstrips is proper. They should be mapped - but differently. 

And similar to other mapping issues in OSM, perhaps a grass strip in some countries is worthy of being an aerodrome because it is the only runway available, similar to how some bad roads are considered trunk roads in some places due to a lack of any other roads -  but in most countries where there is a vast spectrum of avation facilities, granular tagging is essential, and airstrip plays a role in that. 

Javbw. 

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Re: Aerodrome classification

Graeme Fitzpatrick


On Tue, 21 May 2019 at 08:38, John Willis via Tagging <[hidden email]> wrote:

Wow, John - you've got crowded air! :-)

Thanks

Graeme

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Re: Aerodrome classification

Tagging mailing list


On May 21, 2019, at 8:12 AM, Graeme Fitzpatrick <[hidden email]> wrote:

Wow, John - you've got crowded air! :-)

Yes, taking flight training out of Gillespie (in east San Diego),  you basically head southeast to avoid all the airspace restrictions around San Diego - but after that it is pretty easy. 

I saw a mid-air collision between two Cesenas out the window of my home, as there is near-constant air traffic of all types, sizes, and altitudes around my home southwest of Gillespie.


The airspace is so regulated because of a mid-air collision in 1978 between a small plane and 727.
http://www.sdpolicemuseum.com/PSA-Flight-182.html  There haven’t been any other airliner collisions since. 

I have passed basic flight school and took some training flights 20 years ago, I haven’t been back in the cockpit since.

 It is interesting to have some of my old flight knowledge be useful when mapping airports and their navigation aids now in OSM. 

Here in Japan, there are no general-purpose airports in my region and very little private traffic - I see mostly gliders and military helicopters when out cycling (and airliners at cruise). 

These are the airstrips round me:
winch-launched gliders (a parked winch truck pulls them airborne with a high-speed winch, like a catapult)

tow-launched gliders. 

skydiving airstrip. the plane and skydivers use the same field. The only amenity is the nearby trees for picnicking under. 

compare:

a military rough helipad

our only regional air travel option, the Gunma Heliport

Javbw

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History of "aerodrome" changes (was: Aerodrome classification)

Andy Townsend
In reply to this post by Joseph Eisenberg
On 20/05/2019 13:10, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:

> History:
>
> In the very early years of OSM, there were three types of features
> where planes could land: aeroway=airport for airports,
> aeroway=airfield for undeveloped airstrips, and  aeroway=aerodrome for
> general aviation sites, if I understand the history correctly. These
> were rendered differently back in 2008, it appears, based on the old
> discussion in the talk pages.
>
> However, at some point all of the aeroway=airport and aeroway=airfield
> features were edited (I don't know if it was done over a few months or
> all at once) to aeroway=aerodrome, which was defined to mean any place
> where aviation operations regularly take place, except for military
> airports, which are tagged miltary=airfield.

I've also heard that, but what I've never been able to find is the
object history that explains exactly what happened when.

Does anyone know of any features that were originally "aeroway=airport"
or "aeroway=airfield" or similar and got retagged?

Best Regards,

Andy



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Re: Aerodrome classification

Andy Townsend
In reply to this post by Joseph Eisenberg
On 20/05/2019 13:10, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:
> How should we classify different types of aerodromes?
>
In a map style I maintain I use the IATA code to distinguish between
"large" and "small" non-military airports:

https://github.com/SomeoneElseOSM/SomeoneElse-style/blob/master/style.lua#L4811

That's not the whole answer to the question you're asking (it only
covers cases 1 and 2 vs 3), but may be part of the answer.

Best Regards,

Andy



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Re: Aerodrome classification

Graeme Fitzpatrick
In reply to this post by Tagging mailing list

On Tue, 21 May 2019 at 11:05, John Willis via Tagging <[hidden email]> wrote:

our only regional air travel option, the Gunma Heliport

Which rises another point - should dedicated heliports also be classified as aerodromes as far as OSM is concerned? 

Incidentally, I have some concerns about how that one has been mapped.

The actual helipad has been mapped as a square runway, while the dispersal parking areas have been marked in as 7 x helipads, rather than just as an apron.

On that, the taxiways from the parking spots to the helipad are all numbered 1 - 7, but the numbers are showing (at least on my laptop) at different angles - some are upright ^ way, while others are upside-down from the same angle - why would that be?

Thanks

Graeme

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