Designation numbers of Cork Airport runway to change for first time 50 years

The designation numbers of Cork Airport’s main runway are set to change for the first time in over 50 years as a result of changes in the Earth’s magnetic poles.

The designation changes, which will come into effect in April and which are expected to last for the next half century, are required for the airport to remain safety compliant and licensed by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

The runway designator is made up of a two-digit number displayed at each end of the runway showing its magnetic heading nearest the full 10 degrees.

Runway designators are vital pieces of information for pilots being cleared for take-off, landing and taxiing.

The main runway at Cork Airport has, since 1961, been designated runway 17/35 — depending on which direction an aircraft approaches or departs.

Designation numbers of Cork Airport runway to change for first time 50 years

But the drifting of Earth’s magnetic poles over the last half century has seen a shifting of the runway’s magnetic headings. They now stand at 164°M and 344°M, respectively.

It has resulted in confirmation from the airport yesterday that the main runway will be re-designated as runway 16/34 from April.

Ciaran Carton, general manager of operations at Cork Airport, said a change in runway designation is an unusual move which only occurs approximately once in every 50 years.

“There will also be an alteration of software systems, new airfield mapping and a change in communications with private and commercial pilots,” he said.

“Additionally, we will be replacing the taxiway signage and painting new designation numbers on runway thresholds.

Designation numbers of Cork Airport runway to change for first time 50 years

“It should be noted that the change in runway designator numbers will have no effect on aircraft movements.”

A spokesman for the IAA said the rate of change of the magnetic variation is not linear or constant, but, for Ireland, is of the order of magnitude of one degree every five years.

“Assuming this remains constant, every runway will need to change its designation every 50 years,” he said. “There are no other changes planned at present for other Irish airports, but the magnetic variation is continuously monitored.”

More on this topic

Refunds for airline customers still up in the air as airports prepare to welcome back passengersRefunds for airline customers still up in the air as airports prepare to welcome back passengers

Coronavirus: Cork Airport sees significant drop in passengersCoronavirus: Cork Airport sees significant drop in passengers

'Business people dislike airport delays': Cork airport named Ireland's most punctual airport'Business people dislike airport delays': Cork airport named Ireland's most punctual airport

Light aircraft damaged upon landing at Cork AirportLight aircraft damaged upon landing at Cork Airport


Lifestyle

Testing beauty products in shops is verboten for the moment, a restriction that depletes the whole retail experience, in my view. The chief reason to go bricks-and-mortar shopping for beauty it to try before you buy.Make a splash with your skincare this summer with the best water-based makeup

More From The Irish Examiner