CEE 4674

Airport Planning and Design

American Eagle Embraer 175 Climbing Out of Ronald Reagan Airport (A.A. Trani).


Instructor:   Dr. Antonio A. Trani

Address:       Patton Hall 301-P 
               Department of Civil Engineering
               Virginia Tech
Telephone:     (540) 231-4418 (office)
Email: 		vuela@vt.edu

Class Hours:   10:10 AM -11:00 AM
Room:			Patton Halll 316
Index Number:	11781

This course is designed for engineering students who would like to understand how airports are designed and planned. The course is suitable for civil, mechanical, aerospace, and industrial engineering students. The information provided in this course falls into three categories: 1) aircraft runway performance and airport interaction, 2) planning the airport system, and 3) analysis methods used in airport engineering.


To provide the student with tools and methods to analyze and plan effectively airports. The course will emphasize in the following issues: 1) technology of air vehicles related to airport engineering, 2) operating principles and costs, and 3) airport planning and systems analysis techniques.

After attending this courses you should be able to do the following:


a) Optional reading materials: Airport Systems: Planning Design and Management (2nd Edition) by Richard Deneufville and Amedeo Odoni, 2013.

b) Various Advisory Circulars as mandated by the instructor during the semester (see a list below).

c) CEE 4674 Course Notes by Dr. A. A. Trani

Relevant Federal Administration Administration (FAA) Advisory Circulars and documents for class will be required reading in class. FAA documents change frequently as new standards for airport design are developed. You can visit the FAA The most important advisory circular (AC) for this course is: .

Document Number Name FAA Description and Remarks Internet Link for PDF File
AC 150/5300-13A Airport Design Provides guidance for all aspects of airport design. Includes new guidance with Runway Safety Area Program. There are many significant changes in this advisory circular. As we make progress in the course I will provide insight on changes.

AC 150/5300-13A (updated 2014)

AC 150-5060-6B Airport Master Plans Provides guidance on how to prepare an airport master plan. AC 150/5070-6B
AC 150/5070-7 Airport System Planning Process Provides guidance for the airport system planning process. AC 150/5070-7
AC 150/5325-4B Runway Length Requirements For Airport Design Provides design standards and guidelines for determining recommended runway lengths.

AC 150/5325-4B

Errata sheet for AC 150/5325-4B

AC 150/5220-9A Aircraft Arresting Systems On Civil Airports Contains FAA standards and recommendations for the installations of aircraft arresting systems on civil airports not owned or operated by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). AC 150/5220-9A
AC 150/5220-22A Engineered Materials Arresting Systems (EMAS) For Aircraft Overruns Contains standards for the planning, design, and installation of EMAS in runway safety areas. AC 150/5220-22A
NPIAS Report National Plan for Integrated Airport Systems Plan describing important airports in the country and their expected development in the next 5 years

NPIAS Plan Reports (FAA site)

NPIAS Report to Congress

Excel File with NPIAS Airports

AC 150/5320-6D

Pavement Design and Evaluation

(Cancelled AC)

Provides guidance to the public for the design and evaluation of pavements at civil airports.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

AC 150/5340-1K Standards For Airport Markings Describes the standards for markings used on airport runways, taxiways, and aprons. AC 150/5340-1J
FAA Order 7110.608 Wake Vortex Re-categorization at Memphis Airport Provides a snapshot of the new re-categorization formulated by ICAO and FAA. These rules are likeley to be applied worldwide soon. FAA JO 7110.608
FAA JO 7170.6U Air Traffic Control Provides all rules of air traffic control in the U.S. FAA JO 7170.65U
FAA-H_8083-15B Instrument Flying Handbook Teaches pilots and engineers the basics of instrument flying FAA-H_8083-15B
FAA AC List List of FAA Advisory Circulars List of FAA Advisory Circulars FAA AC Web Site
NextGen Next Generation Air Transportation System Contains briefings and implementation plans for NextGen

NextGen FAA Site

NextGen Implementation Site Library

ACRP report 25 Airport Passenger Terminal Planning and Design TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 25, Airport Passenger Terminal Planning and Design comprises a guidebook, spreadsheet models, and a user’s guide in two volumes and a CD-ROM intended to provide guidance in planning and developing airport passenger terminals and to assist users in analyzing common issues related to airport terminal planning and design. ACRP Web Site for report 25
NextGen Next Generation Air Transportation System Contains briefings and implementation plans for NextGen

NextGen FAA Site

NextGen Implementation Site Library

Optional Reading Materials

There are two other good books that can be used to complement the information presented in this course:

a) Planning and Design of Airports: 5th Edition, by Robert Horonjeff, Francis McKelvey, William Sproule and Seth Young, McGraw-Hill, 2010.
c) Airport Engineering: Planning, Design, and Development of 21st Century Airports, by Norman J. Ashford, Saleh Mumayiz, Paul H. Wright, 2011.

Other General Interest Books about Airports

Naked Airport : a cultural history of the world's most revolutionary structure by Alastair Gordon, 2008.
Airport Builders by Marcus Binney, 1999.
The Modern Airport Terminal: New Approaches to Airport Architectur, by Brian Edwards, 2005.
The Airport Passenger Terminal, Walter Hart, 1992

The student is expected to read all the materials assigned as these are crucial to the comprehension of the topic. Class notes and various readings materials posted in the Internet. Readings from civil engineering journals for various topics will be assigned to complement your knowledge of the subject.


This course will require that you install, run and interpret airport design software developed by the FAA, the author and third parties. Students are expected to have access to a computer and be able to perform simple tasks using a spreadsheets (Excel) or execute scripts provided by the instructor in MATLAB when needed.


Homework will be assigned as closely as possible to the course schedule provided. No late assignments will be accepted unless there is a very justifiable reason. You are encouraged to attempt all the assignments as they count a good percentage of your grade. Homeworks will be assigned on Friday and will be due the following Friday before class. This should give you an opportunity to work out the lab details for a full week. Please turn in a hard copy of the homework to me. You are encouraged to attempt all the assignments as they count a good percentage of your grade. I expect you to follow the Honor Code of Virginia Tech. If you do not know the Honor Code of Virginia Tech please refer to your student handbook or read more about it at http://www.honorsystem.vt.edu/.

I encourage discussion between individuals in class and outside class on how to solve problems. However, it is expected that you turn in individual assignments that truly reflect your own work. This is critical for you to do well in the partial and final exams. In general, I would like to see your homework assignments organized in the following sections: a) problem description, b) flowchart (if applicable) or a verbal description of the approach to solve the problem, c) problem solution (including computations), d) analysis and comments. In other words, I do not like to see a lot of output from a spreadsheet or numerical tool like Matlab without a clear explanation on how you approached the problem. In order to give you partial credit your analysis section needs to be well organized and add as many comments as you want to make things understadable. Comments help me and the teaching assistant understand what you are attempting to do with the program.


The students will have the opportunity to execute a mini-project (design project) as part of this class. The idea is to use of the ideas learned in class and apply them to problems of your own discipline. I will provide more information as the course evolves.


The following grading system will be used in this course.

Item Percent of your grade
Homework 40 %
Partial Exams 40 %
Final Project Presentation 8 %
Final Project Report 7 %
Class Participation / Five-minute presentation (s) 5 %

Tentative grading system

Grade Range Grade Range
 A [93.34-100] C [73.34-76.67)
 A- [90.00-93.34) C- [70.00-73.34)
 B+ [86.67-90.00) D+  [66.67-70.00)
 B [83.34-86.67) D [63.34-66.67)
 B- [80.00-83.34) D- [60.00-63.34)
 C+ [76.67-80.00) F [0.00-60.00)


My office is located in Patton Hall 301P . You can reach me in my office during office hours (best method) of call me at (540) 231-4418 or e-mail to vuela(at)vt.edu. I will have the following office hours this semester.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
None None N/A 1:30 PM- 3:00 PM 1:00-2:30 PM

The TA will be Junqi Hu. His office is located in Patton Hall 301 (Graduate Student Offic area). Please visit him during the designated office hours only.

TA Name   Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Junqi Hu 1:00 - 2:30 PM   1:00 - 2:30 PM    

Special Accommodations

Students are encouraged to address any special needs or special accommodations with me during the first two weeks of the semester, or as soon as you become aware of your needs. Those seeking accommodations based on disabilities should obtain a Faculty Letter from the Services for Students with Disabilities office (540-231-0858) located at 250 S. Main Street Suite 300 (Kent Square). You can visit the following web site for information http://www.ssd.vt.edu/ ).

University Principles

Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. Learning from the experiences that shape Virginia Tech as an institution, we acknowledge those aspects of our legacy that reflected bias and exclusion. Therefore, we adopt and practice the following principles as fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members: