Aerodrome

For other uses, see Aerodrome (disambiguation).
Cotswold Airport in England
Pulkovo Airport, near Saint Petersburg, Russia

An aerodrome or airdrome is a location from which aircraft flight operations take place, regardless of whether they involve air cargo, passengers, or neither. Aerodromes include small general aviation airfields, large commercial airports, and military airbases. The term airport may imply a certain stature (having satisfied certain certification criteria or regulatory requirements) that an aerodrome may not have achieved. That is to say, all airports are aerodromes, but not all aerodromes are airports. Usage of the term "aerodrome" remains more common in the UK and Commonwealth nations, and is conversely almost unknown in American English.

A water aerodrome is an area of open water used regularly by seaplanes or amphibious aircraft for landing and taking off.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) an aerodrome is "A defined area on land or water (including any buildings, installations, and equipment) intended to be used either wholly or in part for the arrival, departure, and surface movement of aircraft." [1]

Etymology

The word aerodrome derives from Ancient Greek ἀήρ (aḗr), air, and δρόμος (drómos), road or course, literally meaning air course. An ancient linguistic parallel is hippodrome (a stadium for horse racing and chariot racing), derived from ἵππος (híppos), horse, and δρόμος (drómos), course.

In British military usage, the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War and the Royal Air Force in the First and Second World Wars used the term—it had the advantage that their French allies, on whose soil they were often based and with whom they co-operated, used the cognate term aérodrome.

In Canada [2] and Australia, [3] aerodrome is a legal term of art for any area of land or water used for aircraft operation, regardless of facilities.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) documents use the term aerodrome, for example, in the Annex to the ICAO Convention about aerodromes, their physical characteristics, and their operation. However, the terms airfield or airport mostly superseded[ citation needed] use of aerodrome after World War II. [4]