Understanding Airport Markings

Happy Monday(ish)!

Have you ever wondered what the airport and runway markings mean? Here is a simple graphic tutorial that I hope can answer some questions that some may have.

  • “Why is this ‘taxiway’ is too narrow for my aircraft?” Chances are, it’s not a taxiway but a vehicle lane for airport vehicles. I have seen several planes try and taxi down these roadways mistaking it for a taxiway.

  • “Why are there different hold short lines?” This graphic explains the difference from a ‘regular’ hold short line and the ‘IMC’ (Intrument Meteorological Conditions), hold short line which keeps the aircraft further back from the runway in LOW VIS conditions.

I have also labeled some of the runway markings as well. I hope this graphic tutorial is helpful for anyone that may have had some questions regarding airport markings. See you in the skies!

Happy and Safe Landings!


All need to read and understand. If you do not know please ask .


Great job this one is for the noobs on PG once again


Thanks for this! I now know what the IMC hold short line is and what it means. ;)


@Mark_Denton when you hold short of the IMC line, how low should the visibility be?

Touchdown zone is the three bars? I always assumed it could be in between any of the markings but preferably the large single one.


Thank you so much for this! I took a screenshot of the diagram! Very useful indeed! :)

I used to land between the good old fat white stripes ever since I started flying in flight simulators. This is totally new to me as well.

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MaxSez: Landing; Mains down “On the Numbers” was drilled into my head with an accompanying smack on the hard hat . Later it was “A One Wire Trap”, smack or a downer. Look at the skid marks, the “Threshold” is from the top keys to the double bars. Hit the bars and your “Long”, hit the overrun on a displaced rway or the keys, in my world, your short.

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To keep things simple, IMC basically means when the weather is below minimums for VFR (Visual Flight Rule). In this case, for holding short (below 1200 ft AGL “Actual Ground Level”), visual minimums would be:

Daytime - 1 mile (statute) Visibility

Nighttime - 3 mile (statute) Visibility

If you cannot see an aircraft up to 1 mile out during the day and up to 3 miles out at night, that would be IMC weather. Basically weather in London region on a regular basis. LOL


LOL @Maxmustang, I’ll bring the popcorn to watch those “one wire” traps. Basically every 747 landing (I believe that 747s are all flown by former military/carrier pilots).


Another great tutorial Mark May I suggest a FAR/AIM reference in your tutorials for those that want to go above and beyond? After all your are the piloting voice of IF :)

Yeah I was thinking that earlier as well. Maybe just start a new Category: Markipedia LOL


I like it 😜

Anyone taxing on the “Vehicle Lane” will be warned and if you are reluctant, ghosted. (On Advanced) :)))

If you want to drive on roads, I suggest you to get Car Driving Games. :)


Thanks, Mark. If only people should obey instructions. Yesterday, I had to go around on short final simply because someone was told to hold short, but they got on the runway.

And I also always known the big blocks to be the spot when the plane touches down. But is seems like someone has been misleading us here.


Its very helpfull for new members. Good Tutorials topic.👮🏼👍🏼✈️

The first lines marked as “touch down zone” in your diagram should really be described as the start of the touch down zone, with the last of those further along marking the end of the touch down zone - i.e. you should be touching down somewhere in that zone… The aiming point is marked usually by the larger solid blocks.


Thank you. I am wondering if and when the developers will have direction signs on the taxiways of the bravo class airports?
That would add a lot of realism on taxiways and help pilots find their way to distant runways whose direction is not always easy to find especially in low visibility.

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So you are saying that when I aim for the big blocks, I don’t necessarily have to land at those blocks. Thanks for clarifying.