An Airport is an area used for takeoffs and landings of aircraft. In addition to commercial and jet charter aviation, airports are also used for:
- Military aircraft
- Pilot training
- Cargo transport
- General aviation
- Business aviation
Airports can be situated on land or water, but are predominantly land-based. They also vary considerably in size. For instance, every large city within the United States will have at least one international airport capable of receiving international flights. In order to do this, they must have the appropriate duty and customs screening facilities.
Larger airports typically feature multiple runways that are longer to accommodate larger aircraft, and higher volumes of aircraft. They also tend to be divided into different terminals to aid in the flow of passenger traffic. In many cases, jet charter aviation will fly out of private terminals.
Many modern airports are beautifully designed and efficiently laid out to accommodate tremendous passenger volumes. They also come with a range of amenities, including:
- Passenger check-in areas
- Onsite FBOs
- Luggage reclaim areas
- Security screening
- Public bathrooms
- Bars, restaurants and lounges
However, even smaller towns and cities can have airports operated by the county or local municipality. These often serve as reliever airports in the event that a major airport is overly congested or inaccessible due to weather. When it comes to jet charter aviation, private travellers often prefer smaller airports because they’re less hectic.
Government bodies own and operate many of the airports that the public uses, however, others are managed privately. Every airport has a specific identifying code so that it is readily identifiable.
Government transport agencies highly regulate airports to ensure the safe, orderly flow or air traffic. They rely on air traffic controllers, who communicate with incoming and outgoing aircraft to coordinate flight plans and assist with aircraft navigation.