Aerodrome planning and equipment


Technical information

Legal constraints to obstacle limitation surfaces

STAC - 2015 - A4 12 pages - Free

Read French version - Download French version (pdf 1,3 Mo)

In France legal constraints exist which limit the surface and height of any building in the environment of an airport to guarantee airplane evolution safety in the area – and the possibility of compliance with its long term master plan.

These constraints consist for respecting obstacle limitation surfaces specially designed for a specific airport and its environment.

The French civil aviation technical center designs the obstacle limitation surfaces related to national major airports, and to military airfields.

In addition, it is a reference organization for other state administrations dealing with the obstacle limitation surfaces of non-major national sites.

The on-line document introduces the aims of the surfaces and general information about the way to design them.


Study report

Solar panels in the vicinity of airports

STAC - 2013 - A4 - 72 pages - 24 €

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Airport fields are an ideal location for solar installations. Their wide terrains, and the absence of screens to solar beams ensure a maximum ground irradiance.

Beside their obvious economical and environmental advantages, it has proved necessary to consider the adverse effects that solar panels might have on operations safety. Thus, sun reflexion on pannels and the associated visual impediment it can cause to pilots and air trafic controlers have been tackled. Differents glare mechanisms and their consequences were studied in order to build criteria defining the visual disturbance risk related to solar installations.

First, implementation areas in which sun reflexion on solar installations must be properly considered are identified. Then, in each of the different areas, solar installations meeting specific dimensions might comply to a series of criteria in order to prevent controlers and pilots in given phases of flight from glare.

This work raised a glare risk assessment method easily applicable by operation services.


Technical Guidance

Airfield lighting system maintenance

Technical Guidance

STAC - 2nd edition modified March 2013 - A4 48 pages - Price : 33 €

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This guide has been written for the use of the Airfield Lighting System Maintenance Service. It is a guidance for the organisation of preventive maintenance actions, which however, are not excluding other equally performant methodologies.

Aiming at defining the performance level of objectives to be looked upon in preventive maintenance, it details the inspections,  routine maintenance actions and revisions usually achieved. Excluding The Obstacle Lighting System, only permanent installations are here concerned, and no temporary settings.

The specific matter dealt with here, is the description of inspection actions, and of regular as well as preventive maintenance.


Technical guidance

Guide for legal constraints due to Obstacle Limitation Surfaces

STAC - 2011 - A4 84 pages - 33 €

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This guide is intended for services of the French civil aviation which elaborate legal constraints due to obstacle limitation surfaces. It aims at supplying a practical interpretation of the regulation and at proposing a common methodology for the elaboration of the graphic documents representing legal constraints, in order to standardize work habits on these topics.

All the data necessary for the elaboration of a legal servitude form is described : data relative to the runways and to the infrastructures used by helicopters, meteorological and navigation equipments, obstacles.

Besides the description of the various basic surfaces used for the obstacle limitation surfaces, this guide brings some answers to the problem of the adaptations of surfaces in the presence of obstacles.


Technical information

Airport and airspace capacity

Fast time simulation assessment

STAC - 2011 - A4 - 4 pages - Free

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Airport capacity is an element of decision support as part of infrastructure planning and coordination of the airports.

The capacity and simulation pole of the STAC evaluates the performance of an airport, including the identification of the maximum flow of regarding to a satisfactory condition for operators and covers the area movement (apron and maneuver areas), and the airspace near an airport (TMA).

The STAC is using different tools : a analytical tool developed in-house, MACAO (Model Analytic Calculation airport), and two fast time simulation tools : SIMMOD PLUS !, a software originally developed by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and OPAS (Operational Procedures And Simulation), developed by the Technical Department of the ANSP and used occasionally by the STAC.

This document highlights the way to use simulation tools and their potentialities.


Technical Guidance

Passenger Terminal Accessibility

STAC - 2010 - A4 - 38 pages - 24 €

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In France, millions of passengers, every year, use aircraft as a way of transport. Many of them have some difficulties in their daily journeys (disability, age, children, pregnancy, etc.). Passenger terminal buildings have to be designed to facilitate their trip whilst in the airport terminal.

This guidebook gives technical recommendations in order to integrate solutions for disabled passengers in the building design solutions.


Technical Guidance

Passenger Terminal Capacity

STAC - 2010 - A4 - 76 pages - 33 €

Read French version - Download French version (pdf 5,7 Mo)

Passenger terminal buildings are designed to handle passengers while they transfer from a ground transport mode to an air transport mode, and reciprocally. Capacity is a key information, required to:

  • calculate how much traffic can be handled by the facility,
  • estimate the predictable time of congestion due to traffic growth,
  • find the most restraining parts of the facility.

This technical guide aims at proposing several methods that can be directly used to determine the capacity of a passenger terminal building, with different levels of accuracy and complexity. it is mainly addressed to airports, airlines, regulation authorities, architects and engineering consultants involved in passenger terminal sizing and design.

The document describes some general principles, and then outlines the passenger terminal building in the airport system.

It covers in detail the passenger terminal processes and the notion of reference traffic, before reviewing the parameters impacting capacity.

Three methods are proposed, made for different purposes and corresponding to different levels of accuracy: the simplified global method, the “macroscopic” method and the “microscopic” method by simulation.

Eventually, the relations between peak hour capacity and annual capacity is discussed, as well as the relations between capacity in number of movements and number of passengers.

In the end, some ideas are proposed for future improvements in capacity optimization and flow management.

Designing and sizing a facility is the reverse approach: from a given passenger traffic, the goal is to define the structural characteristics of the building (space, number of processing equipments) to be able to handle the passenger flow, with a targeted quality of service and given its exploitation mode.

The document is focused on capacity assessment. However, it is relatively easy to reverse the formulas, turning them into sizing rules.

Elements concerning Level of Service issues described in this document were inspired from IATA manuals and are no longer up to date. Since the document was written, some major updates of the related concepts have been made.

Please refer to the latest version of the IATA Airport Development Reference Manual (ADRM) for further details.


Technical Guidance

Guide on Heliports for Helicopter Medical Service

STAC - 2010 - A4 - 88 pages - 33 €

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Following the changes in regulation of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS), the characteristics of some hospital sites in France do no longer enable operations in compliance with operational rules. Considering the public interest of those flights, it was decided to allow, under authorization, to carry on the operations on some of these sites known as “public interest sites”, provided a refit program is set up and followed by French Civil Aviation Authority. The technical directors of hospitals in charge of this setting to the standards expressed the need for a support synthesizing operational and technical elements to take into account, in accordance with regulations in force.

More generally any hospital heliport or helipad designer would benefit from it. Finally, some departments of French Civil Aviation Authority pointed out that they would sometimes face difficulties in the study of administrative documents for the creation or refitting of heliports, in order to emit the statutory opinion for submission to the prefect.

This guide will provide those involved with the provisions to be applied for the layout of new or existing sites.


Technical Guidance

Control Towers

Issue 1 - General and functions

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Issue 2 - Location and height

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Issue 3 - Quality requirements

Read French version - Download French version (pdf 476 ko)

Issue 4 - Watchtower windows

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Issue 5 - The interior

Read French version - Download French version (pdf 1,9 Mo)

STAC - 2007 - A4 - 28, 32, 36, 30 pages ; Fasc. 5 : 2009 - A4 - 18 pages - Price : 24 € per issue


By their nature, control towers and technical blocks raise specific problems, whether it is during their conception, during their construction or for their maintenance.

Designers and decision-makers have to be conscious of it before undertaking a project.

This guide proposes a method in order to handle the following essential points:

  • The work of the controllers and the ergonomics of the watchtower,
  • Safety,
  • The visibility, connected to both location and height of the watchtower,
  • The conception of the watchtower


Technical Guidance

Airport capacity assessment method

STAC - 2005 - A4 -136 pages - 43 €

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This guide aims at proposing methods for determination of the airport capacity. It gives the more particular and general definitions of capacity for runways and terminals. It presents the major parameters which influence the capacity, describes three levels of assessment of the runway capacity and presents the method of ratios regarding terminal capacity.

The formula of the 40th hour, giving an estimation of the annual capacity from the hourly capacity, is detailed.

Plus, it presents improved tools for estimation of the airport capacity.


Technical Guidance

Design of airport drainage networks

STBA - 2000 - A4 - 64 pages + 14 data sheets 4 pages - 43 €

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Read data sheets - Download data sheets (pdf 1,3 Mo)

Several factors make airport drainage uneasy : flat zones, small slopes, width of dressed surfaces.

This guide allows people in charge to understand the problematic of water on their airport, in order to find the best solutions in line with regulations, including existing systems.

It deals with environment analysis, impact of the project on the environment, the way of dimensioning a network, and equipment management.


Technical Guidance

Airport footbridges

Technical, locations and selection criteria

STBA - 1987 - A4 - 128 pages - 43 €

Read French version - Download French version (pdf 4 Mo)

The footbridges for passengers are equipments connecting terminal to planes, and obviously an increasing way of moving people in airports. This guide aims at presenting footbridges to operators working in airports or airport managers. This guide deals with:

  • The various types of footbridges,
  • Their technical characteristics,
  • The international standards which they have to comply with,
  • The advantages and the drawbacks of footbridges in general and of various types in particular,
  • The economic impact of their implementation.

This guide includes a practical method for the choice of a footbridge among the multiple possible alternatives.


Updated Jan, 19 2016