What the signs and symbols at the airport mean

When you have been sitting on the airplane waiting for the last people to get on-board, you may have looked out the window and wondered what all the signs and symbols at the airport mean. Well if you have you can now find out as a new book has been released by Kate Ascher, called “The Way to Go”. The book is packed with some great graphics and information, along with stuff that is really cool and interesting to know.

“The Way to Go” is all about infrastructure and great for anyone who is engineering minded. It features graphics that are beautiful while at the same time clearly explaining infrastructure and engineering marvels around us. So if you have ever wondered what all those signs and flashing lights mean as the plan makes its way to the airport, now is the time to find out.

One excerpt from the book explains in a simple visual guide how planes take off, navigate, approach and land. Pictures show that there are numerous coloured lines and these relate to different aircraft from different airports, which could be landing or taking off. For instance when departing the line is solid and when arriving it is dashed.


Runways are similar to roads in that they have many markings on them along with symbols and lights. The book clearly explains what all these mean.

For instance did you know that a series of white lights mark the edge of the runway and then turn to yellow over the last 2,000 feet? The centre line is the same, white at first and then turning to white and red at the last 3,000 feet and then red on its own for the last 1,000 feet of runway.

Along with this there are directional arrows, these point to runways which intersect along with taxiways. If it is a taxiway then it will have a yellow letter on a black background. Intersecting runways and taxiways have a black letter on a yellow background with an arrow pointing the direction of the runway or taxiway. The mounted signs help the pilot as they navigate runways and taxiways that crisscross over each other. The current runway is a one or two digit number and this corresponds to the leading compass digits and the reciprocal heading.

Solid and dashed yellow lines or yellow laddered lines are indicators of where the plane that is taxiing should stop while they have been cleared by the air traffic control. The runway that intersects is noted in white numbers on a red background.

When approaching or departing the aircraft is directed through the same airspace at different altitudes. They need to be of course as many aircraft all in the same airspace at the same time would end in disaster if they were all at the same altitude.


You may have heard about airplanes being in a holding pattern. Well the book explains that at the airport these are called “stacked” and each plane is separated vertically by 1,000 feet of airspace. The plans are stacked on top, in layers, and they cycle down to the bottom of the stack as each plane lands. Holding patterns typically happen due to weather or traffic. The racetrack pattern is a series of four legs, a 180 degree turn, a straightway, a 180 degree turn and then another straightway. These are anchored over a fix, which is usually in the form of a radio beacon.

So the next time you are coming in to land or taking off, take a look out the window as what’s around you and you will know what all the signs and symbols mean.

SOURCE - welldonestuff

7 Tips for Less Stressful Air Travel

Traveling can be stressful, especially when you have to navigate an airport. Many people end up stressed and sick after a big travel day, but there are steps you can take to make the experience more relaxing. Try these 7 tips to make air travel easier and more pleasant.

Prepare your body. In the days preceding your travel plans, be extra concious of your health. Get plenty of sleep. Drink plenty of water. Eat wholesome, unprocessed foods. These simple things will make sure your immunity is at its strongest for the rough travel conditions ahead. If you are inclined, take some echinacea in the days leading up to your travelday to help make your body as strong as possible. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport on your travel day so as to minimize the stressful effects of rushing.

Find a peaceful place to wait. Once you’re through security, find a peaceful place to wait and read — maybe an unused waiting area. Play some of your favorite music on your headphones, and focus on taking conscious breaths. Security is the stressful part, so relaxing and reviving yourself before you board can lower your blood pressure back to normal and make your whole travel experience more enjoyable.

Avoid the salt & sugar. If you want to avoid post-flight bloating and uncontrolled overindulging, nix excess salt and sugar on your travel day. Snacks like jerky, whole fruit, unsalted nuts, and veggie sticks are great for carrying-on with you, and will dissuade you from buying that overpriced Snickers bar at the airport convenience store. If you get the craving for a comforting snack, bring some very dark chocolate, which incidentally may also reduce stress levels. Just be sure to keep your sugar intake low, as sugar may also suppress immunity.

Move your joints. Every 30-60 minutes, be sure to get some movement in your joints to avoid the swelling and cricks related to cramped inactivity. Even if you can’t get up to take a quick stroll down the aisles once you’re en route, roll your ankles and gently activate your glutes to keep the blood flowing in your legs. Be sure to exercise regularly in the days preceding and following your flight.

Carry-on your creature comforts. You have a limited amount of space in your carry-on, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t make yourself comfortable. Bring a soft scarf or your coziest sweatshirt — even slippers if you’re so inclined. Small comforts cannot be overestimated for a long, cramped flight. If you find yourself getting anxious on flights, bring a small vial of lavender essential oil — or really anything lavender-scented — as lavender has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress.

Sleep. On a long flight, utilize noise-cancelling headphones and an eye mask to get some shut-eye, which will make the entire ordeal easier on your body. Even if you can’t sleep, try meditating for 20 minutes, or at the very least indulge in an engrossing novel. Simply put, allow your body to relax as much as you can.

Think happy thoughts. Your mind is incredibly powerful. Instead of sitting on the flight worrying about what you have to do when you land, or worse, whether the plane will make a clean landing, think positively. Positive thinking has a huge effect on our physical beings. It can ward off illness, improve mood, and reenergize your body. You’ll feel much better post-flight — and in life, generally — if you think positively.

Whether you travel a lot or just once in a while, flying can be a more relaxing experience by taking a few precautions. All the lines, security screenings, sneezing/crying children, and tight seating arrangements don’t need to rain on your travel day. Treat your body and mind with respect and travel mindfully, and your travel experience will be a lot more tolerable.

Source - care2

Katie Shepherd flies NZ245 direct from New Zealand to Indonesia.

An Air New Zealand Boeing 767-300. Photo / File
The plane: Boeing 767-300.

Class: Economy.

Price: $749 for The Works, booked in March during a sale.

My seat: 32F. Down the back in the middle. The passenger in the seat next to me was a toddler, so no armrest wars. The seat in front of me was empty for most of the flight so, thankfully, no one reclined on to me.

On time: A slight delay leaving. We hadn't been seated long when we were told there was a "cabin issue". A few minutes later we were informed it was a seat issue and engineers were on board fixing it. We finally pushed off 30 minutes after our scheduled departure time.

Fellow passengers: Holidaymakers. Some families dashing away before the school holidays start, one tour group and many couples. Lots of surfers, judging by the number of board bags I saw at check-in.

How full: I think I saw about three spare seats in the whole of Economy and about a dozen spare between Premium Economy and Business class.


Entertainment: A touch-screen seat-back system. The touch screen was a bit resistant to use - I had to touch things multiple times to get a response. A large selection of movies and television shows. New releases as well as oldies such as The Sound of Music. One of my travel companions was a child and I noticed there was a great selection for her including the extremely popular Frozen.

Service: Great. Staff were friendly and attentive. Water was offered frequently throughout the flight and they were only too happy to help with whatever you required. Trips down the back to request drinks were always met with a smile.

Food and drink: Chicken curry or beef tagine with a warm bun, pumpkin salad, cheese and crackers, and a pineapple cake to finish. The usual drinks trolley. About an hour out from Denpasar we were served snacks. A warm ham and cheese sandwich with fruit salad and (according to the PA) a chocolate brownie. I must admit I was rather disappointed when my meal was served and it had a raspberry coconut slice. A quick look around and no one else seemed to have a brownie.

Toilets: Clean and tidy with nice smelling soap.

Luggage: Pretty standard. 23kg plus 7kg carry-on.

Airport experience: With a frightening jolt to the left we landed and unloaded fairly fast. Getting our visa through Bali's visa-on-arrival system was easy enough. No queue and all you need to do is hand over your passport and US$35 and you get a stamp and piece of paper. We then had a long, hot wait winding back and forth with many others. It had to be close to two hours by the time we got through immigration. With a quick scan of our bags we were in the main part of the airport where what looked like hundreds of drivers were waiting with signs with passengers' names on them.

Fly again? Definitely. Flying Air New Zealand is always a pleasant experience.

Source - NZ Herald

New York air travel expected to jump this weekend

  • NEW YORK - The Port Authority expects more than 1.6 million passengers to use its airports over the Memorial Day weekend, a 2.2 percent increase over last year.
    The travel estimate, from Friday through Tuesday, includes 4,200 passengers using Stewart International Airport in New Windsor. The largest number of passengers, 779,300, will use John F. Kennedy International Airport.
    The Port Authority also will suspend all construction at its bridges and tunnels for the weekend, when it projects 3.2 million people will use them. Its police department will conduct a DWI checkpoint Friday night and Sunday morning at an unidentified Hudson River crossing to discourage people from drinking and driving.
     Source - recordonline

Why air travel could soon be radically different

Responsibility for air traffic control could be shifted from the Federal Aviation Authority to a non-profit entity.

Air traffic control in the United States could be on the doorstep of a serious transformation, one that’s getting support from both airlines and labor unions.

Air travel in India sees 18% rise in March: IATA



Air travel demand in India rose by nearly 18 per cent in March, more than-two fold of the global average, on account of improved economy and market stimulation by way of heavy discounts offered by the Indian airlines during the period, the IATA today said.

Domestic air travel rose by 8 per cent in March year-on-year, driven by growth in China and India, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its monthly global traffic data report.