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Page 140
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
W. H
Chapter 8
out several alternate runway options. Right
away Frank favored a more northwest point-
ing runway, 12-30, rather than the airport's
old heading of 16-34. Runways are named
after their magnetic heading, generally one-
tenth of the heading. A runway with a head-
ing of 130 degrees (southeast), for instance,
was referred to as Runway 13, pronounced
"one three"; a heading of 310 (northwest), in
the opposite direction, was 31.
Part of designing a runway meant evalu-
ating nearby airports, imagining you had a
bunch of airplanes in the air, all of them com-
ing and going at the same time and all plug-
ging in the appropriate instrument approach,
and making sure you didn't have any overlap,
say aircraft A and aircraft B in the same place
at the same time.
Approach and departure procedures are
a set of ticklish maneuvers--prescribed alti-
tudes and headings, arrows pointing at ob-
stacles to avoid, notes of terrain to be aware
of--all of it designed for safety of flight. Frank
studied the instrument procedures and sec-
tional maps for the closest airport south of us,
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and
the closest north, Georgetown Municipal Air-
port, and didn't find any conflicts with Bird's
2009. View of grading and construction of the new 4,420-foot runway.
Photo courtesy of David Hannah III.