Glossary of Aviation Terms | Apron

Apron | Paramount Business Jets

An apron is a paved or hard-surfaced area around the hangars and terminal buildings of an airport. This area may also be called the "ramp" and it may be used to park, unload or load, refuel, maintain, or board an aircraft. However, it is understood that the "ramp" is where pre-flight activities are conducted, and the "apron" is the area in which aircraft are parked and maintained. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) defines the apron as not being a part of the maneuvering area, but as a non-movement area. This means that FAA Air Traffic Controllers do not oversee the activity that is carried out on this strip of land. Unlike runways and taxiways, where an aircraft must obtain permission from the control tower to access these areas, authorization is not required for aprons and ramps. To these controllers, the movement of aircraft on the apron is referred to as apron traffic.

Anyone on the apron, or ramp, should be cautious and alert for fuel trucks that are driving around or fueling aircraft. Frequently, there are roadway markings on the pavement to signify a pathway used by vehicles in their operations. Also, frequently present on aprons are ramp personnel who help to direct aircraft during ground operations using hand signals.


(Shaded in gray are the airport aprons/ramps)

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