The Infinite Flight Steam Blog: Runway Maintenance

Welcome to the infinite steam blog where we explore topics in aviation through the use of steam. This is a once very other week blog series. Inside each installment you will find a main article, an airline of focus and any major aviation news for that time period. Before we take off we have some important rules to review.


1: Discussion is welcome. Please make sure it stays on topic.
2: please be polite and respectful at all times.
3: Have fun. :)
If there is an issue in this topic please let me know through pm

For today’s main article we will be discussing runway maintenance.
Photo credit: anc airport
Whether it is the single runway at San Diego or the four runways at Los Angeles international , all runways must be regularly maintained. While it might seem self-explanatory, “runway maintenance” refers to all activity needed to keep the landing strip safe for aircraft use. This included the removal of debris, sealing cracks, repaving, and rubber and snow removal.

Regarding the airport pecking order, runways are an airport’s most valuable asset and must always be in tip-top condition. This is particularly true for airports that rely on a single runway, like London Gatwick Airport (LGW) or North America’s busiest single runway at San Diego Airport(SAN) Should an airport need to close a runway for maintenance, it can lead to traffic delays and affect the airport’s finances. This is why most runway maintenance occurs during the night to help minimize delays to inbound and outbound aircraft. During this time most airports are closed or have an alternate runway that does not affect traffic rates. When an airport schedules a runway to receive maintenance wether it be during the night or for extended periods, it will issue a Notam ( notice to air missions) to let pilots and airlines know of the ongoing work. As an extra safety measure when an airport closes a runway, two giant illuminated flashing X signs are erected at both ends. Certified for use by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), the flashing X symbol markers are bright enough to be seen by pilots from several miles.
The runway also needs visible paintings to help ensure safety. The paint is a special solvent based paint specifically designed for the harsh environment of the airport. When a runway is closed for repaying roughly every ten years it is a massive under taking. Heavy machines are required to remove the old asphalt or concrete and replace it with new materials. Small groves are put into the concrete/ asphalt with a milling machine to assist with proper water drainage. Runways also need to be removed from excess rubber. When aircraft land the rubber from the tires is pressed into the runway because of the immense heat and pressure. As the rubber can reduce friction it needs to be removed. This is typically done at night time. At large busy airports such as JFK this can occur up to three times each week for each runway.
Most airports use high power water machines to help wash the rubber of the runway.

Photo credit: Salt Lake City airport
Certain seasonal activities also need to occur during certain times of the year. During the summer mowing needs to cut the grass done around the runway to keep wildlife away. Plowing and deicing equipment during the winter to avoid buildups of snow and ice on the runways. This ensures that the runways are kept open and that the friction is kept within acceptable limits. As you can see a lot of work is needed to keep a keep the runways operational and safe throughout the year even in the harshest of conditions.

Porter Airlines

Image credit porter airlines
Porter operates regularly scheduled flights between Toronto and locations in Canada and the United States using a fleet of Canadian-built q-400 and e190 e2 aircraft. Currently porter serves over 32 destinations with a fleet of over 56 aircraft.
Porter began service in Toronto in 2006. As they began adding destinations they asked Toronto Billy bishop airport to allow jet aircraft but the airport did not permit the expansion to jets so porter changed some of their operations from Billy bishop to Toronto Pearson. Porter airlines ordered 30 e195e2 jets in 2021. Later increasing the order to 50 aircraft. With the new jets they launched services from western canada and Florida. In November 2023 porter airlines ordered an additional 25 jets brining the total order to 75. They currently service airports in Canada ( Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and others) United States ( los angles, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago midway, Boston, Newark, Washington Dulles, Orlando, Miami and Tampa.

Aviation News

1: after though maintenance checks the 737 max 9 has been cleared to fly again.
2: Frontier announces a massive 30 route expansion this spring and summer.
This is it for this week due to my short amount free time the past couple of weeks due to work. A lot more will be in the next installment.

Would you like to see more pictures with the blog
  • Yes
  • No
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How often would you like me to post
  • Once a week
  • Once a ever other week
  • Once a month
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Other topics you would like to see
  • Air traffic control( possibly with a special guest)
  • Behind the scenes of infinite flight series( may not be possible)
  • Biomimicry and flight
  • History of aviation
  • Ground service vehicles
  • How weather affects airports
  • The secrets behind aircraft boarding
  • How you baggage gets from point a to b and other logistics
  • Faa history
  • Esa history
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Would you like to see an airport guide series
  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe/ tell me more
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Thank you everyone for your feedback. If you would like to see anything else in the blog that I did not cover just let me know. As for the airport guides they would contain the airport and its history as well as the proper approaches and departures . I can also touch on routes that airport has.

Nice thread! Maybe you could include concept planes and other such things

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Adding that to my list of topics.

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this is so far off and way too much

oh yes and is it steam as in the gas made by water vapors or STEAM as in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math?

This has been corrected. Stay tuned for more in depth steam topics coming up. ( this week did not have as much as some of the ones coming up)

Again in this context does Steam mean the water vapors or the acronym I mentioned above

Cannot wait to see more!

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I think APA format would be a neat addition

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I have compiled the schedule for the upcoming blogs. The dates and topics are tentative and may change plus or minus a day or two due to life.
The infinite flight steam blog:
February 3rd: how you baggage gets from point a to b and other airport logistics
February 10th : air traffic control
February 17th: how weather affects airports and aviation
February 24th: no blog this week
March 2nd : history of aviation part 1 the early years
March 9th: history of aviation part 2 the introduction of the jet
March 16th : history of aviation part 3 modern aviation
March 23rd : history of aviation part 4 the space race
March 30th : no blog due to Easter.

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Link to this week’s Airport Guide Series.
Airport Guide Series : Akron Canton int

The second edition of the infinite flight steam blog is now out.
Infinite Flight Steam Blog: How your baggage gets from check in to the hold

Whatdo you mean by steam?

What do you mean by steam?

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