Airport Markings

Overview of typical airport markings.

Airport markings are designed to assist in navigation and the flow of airport traffic.

Runway Markings

Basic runways may just have centerline markings and a runway number.

Runway numbers

As in real-life aviation, Second Life runway numbers range between 01 and 36, and are determined by its direction (in degrees) related to magnetic north. For example, a runway numbered '09' points east (90°), runway '18' is south (180°), runway '27' points west (270°) and runway '36' points to the north (360° rather than 0°). A runway can normally be used in both directions, and is named for each direction separately: e.g., "runway 33" in one direction is "runway 15" when used in the other. The two numbers always differ by 18 (= 180°).

If there is more than one runway pointing in the same direction (parallel runways), each runway is identified by appending Left (L), Center (C) and Right (R) to the number to identify its position (when facing its direction) — for example, Runways One Five Left (15L), One Five Center (15C), and One Five Right (15R). Runway Zero Three Left (03L) becomes Runway Two One Right (21R) when used in the opposite direction (derived from adding 18 to the original number for the 180 degrees when approaching from the opposite direction).

Displaced Thresholds

Designed to allow obstacle clearance.

Blast Pad

Blast pads, also known as overrun areas or stopways, are often constructed just before the start and end of runways as emergency space to slowly stop planes that overrun the runway on a landing gone wrong, or to slowly stop a plane on a rejected takeoff or a takeoff gone wrong. This section of the runway is marked with yellow chevrons.


Signs fall into 6 categories:

  • Mandatory Instructions (white on red)
  • Location signs (yellow on black)
  • Direction signs (black on yellow)
  • Destination signs (black on yellow)
  • Information (black on yellow)
  • Runway distance remaining (White on Black)

Additional References

Markings and signage for major airports

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