WORLD AIRPORT MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS OF
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land.
The terms airport and aerodrome are often interchanged. The term airport may imply or confer a certain stature upon the aviation facility that an aerodrome proper may not have achieved. In some jurisdictions, airport is a legal term of art reserved exclusively for those aerodromes certified or licensed as airports by the relevant governing organization the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), or Transport Canada after meeting specified certification criteria or regulatory requirements. That is to say, in the purest sense, all airports are aerodromes, but not all aerodromes are airports. Other jurisdictions define an airport as one that is furnished with the customs offices expected of a port of entry, though the more general term for such aerodromes is airport of entry.
Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport. An airport consists of at least one surface such as a runway for a plane to take off and land, a helipad, or water for takeoffs and landings, and often includes buildings such as control towers, hangars and terminal buildings.
Larger airports may have fixed base operator services, seaplane docks and ramps, air traffic control, passenger facilities such as restaurants and lounges, and emergency services. A military airport is known as an airbase or air station. The terms aerodrome, airdrome, airfield, and airstrip may also be used to refer to airports, and the terms heliport, seaplane base, and STOVL port refer to airports dedicated exclusively to helicopters, seaplanes, or short take-off and landing aircraft.
Airports are divided into landside and airside areas. Landside areas include parking lots, public transportation train stations, tank farms and access roads. Airside areas include all areas accessible to aircraft, including runways, taxiways, ramps and tank farms. Access from landside areas to airside areas is tightly controlled at most airports. Passengers on commercial flights access airside areas through terminals, where they can purchase tickets, clear security, check or claim luggage and board aircraft through gates. The waiting areas which provide passenger access to aircraft are typically called concourses, although this term is often used interchangeably with terminal.
The area where aircraft park next to a terminal to load passengers and baggage is known as a ramp. Parking areas for aircraft away from terminals are called aprons.
Airports can be towered or non-towered, depending on air traffic density and available funds. Due to their high capacity and busy airspace, many international airports have air traffic control located on site.
Airports with international flights have customs and immigration facilities. However, as some countries have agreements that allow travel between them without customs and immigrations, such facilities are not a definitive need for an international airport. International flights often require a higher level of physical security, although in recent years, many countries have adopted the same level of security for international and domestic travel.
Some airport structures include on-site hotels built within or attached to a terminal building. Airport hotels have grown popular due to their convenience for transient passengers and easy accessibility to the airport terminal. Many airport hotels also have agreements with airlines to provide overnight lodging for displaced passengers.
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