why we don’t build airports to places where there is no wind?



I see lots of videos where planes (so their pilots..) struggle while they are landing because of air conditions. so if windy air is problem for plane, why we didn’t built airports to no-wind areas at the first place?

In: Earth Science

Because you build airports where people want to fly, not where it’s easiest to go. You need airports near centers of population or industry. You don’t necessarily need an airport where it’s easiest to fly to.

Well, the most important factor in choosing location for infrastructure like airports is: they need to be close to where people want to travel. There are airports out in the countryside all over the world, but not enough people want to fly to them to warrant expansion.


Not so much as there is no wind, but having the runway face geographical winds can be an advantage and disadvantage. Maybe crosswinds are bad examples of airport runways.

What most architects look for in a site selection would be minimizing disturbances of Noise pollution in neighboring properties, peak hours for land/air traffic congestion, future expansion, accessibility to the public, full security control of the perimeter. That is why many airports are placed on rural area or countrysides.

Distance travel with moving traffic is not so much of a problem compared to a closed distanced airport with a congested traffic which can harm your boarding time.

Airports need lots of flat open space, basically flat open space always has some wind on it because there are no barriers to slow down or break up the winds progress.

All runways are built into the direction of the prominent winds for the area. The wind flowing over the wing, from front to back actually helps airplanes take off and land. Ironically once you are in the air, wind at your back is far more beneficial.

Also keep in mind those videos you see are just a very small percentage of the total number of airplanes that take off and land in any given day.

Where is it no wind? Extreme crosswind tend to occur in storm and then there is wind everywhere you could build a airport.

An airport need to be on a large flat area where you do not have stuff like mountain or tall buildings after the end of the runway so you can climb and land. That is not exactly location with little wind.
Airport also need to be relative close to cities. There is in general not a lot of places to put them because the round around them will be quite noisy.

Wind is not a problem for airplanes in general. If you start into the wind you need to move at a lower ground speed before you get airborne. If you land in the same direction the landing distance is shorter.
If you look at a aircraft carrier they need to go at high speed into the wind so the aircraft can take off with full fuel and weapon load.

Wind is a problem if it to high and at an angle to the runway. So a way to solve the wind problem is multiple runways and the one you use is where the wind is close to parallel to it.

If you look back in time aipote was often circular grass areas so you aloway could land into the wind.
When you moved to runways with hard surfaces it was not uncommon to build [runways in a triangular configuration](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Stansted_Mountfitchet#/media/File:RAF_Stansted_Mountfitchet_-_9_Jan_1947_Airphoto.jpg) on RAF Stansted Mountfitchet that was a bomber base build in WWII.
Another option is r two runways that cross in the middle. When you get to post WWII with heavier jet aircraft the can handle crosswind quite well and often a single runway is enough.

So the runways now might [look like this](https://goo.gl/maps/LN4YSbakdvLqomQu6) on London Stansted Airport. It is the same airport as the one with the triangular runways in the other images. You can still see the old triangle runways, one is mostly removed but you see the outline in the grass.


In a airport you see landing with extreme sidewind the limitation tend to be that there is not a lot of flat land where you can build runways in other direction.
For most airport there is relative few times there is so much sidwind so you can land. So it is not economically to build another runway. So you cancel flight or divert them to other airport if the runway cant be used

There are a few reasons. The first is of course that they need to be near where people want to go.

The second is that even in places where wind can be a problem it isn’t so bad all the time. Most days planes don’t struggle and can even use the wind to their advantage.

Last is that with airports being big stretches of flat, unobstructed land, wind is almost inevitable. So it’s just easier to build planes and train pilots and controllers to be able to deal with the wind.

Wind can help just as much as it hurts.

Just that about the only wind that really ‘helps’ here is a tail wind – wind going in the same direction the plane is – which helps it maintain speed, it uses less fuel, and is overall a good thing.

Any other direction is either a cross wind (sideways) or head wind (pushing against the plain, opposite it’s direction). And those – while more difficulty to take off, land, or fly in, are not *usually* such a big concern that it’s going to massively change where they decide to plop an airport down.

Most of that is going to depend on whatever size the city is.

Imagine if you lived in Chicago – the literal Windy City – except the closest airport was a 6 hour drive in (pick a direction). Lots of people *from* Chicago wouldn’t go out of their way to schedule flights because of the hassle, and lots of tourists *visiting* Chicago wouldn’t bother with the 6 hour drive to visit and do tourist stuff.

Firstly your question may be an example of Sensationalism Bias.

That is, simply because a certain event is *dramatic*, may lead people to believe it’s much more likely, or believe it’s more significant than it actually is.

For example, people see videos about plane crashes and may choose to avoid flying and drive large distances instead, out of fear. Driving long hours is statistically far more dangerous, however. the videos you’ve seen are extreme cases since few people want to watch videos of normal landings in normal, modest weather conditions. Nothing exciting about that.

Secondly such places do not exist to the best of my knowledge. Weather and wind by it’s nature is unpredictable and cannot be controlled. I’m not really aware of any place where winds, weather, and storms have never been recorded. Even the planet mars has weather. Weather from solar storms is even a concern on the moon which lacks any atmosphere.

Thirdly airports tend to be build near major cities without much regard for the local weather. This is because people don’t find it convenient to drive all day to then catch a plane. So, as long as the weather isn’t windy the majority of the time the airfield can still be used. You need to simply build the runway in the average wind direction. As the saying goes, even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

In such wind conditions flight crew will, if at all possible, decide to detour to another field where the wind direction is more favorable. If wind exceeds certain limits the air traffic control (ATC), by regulations, will close the field and forbid landing to any aircraft except for declared emergencies.

They seem scary but pilots train heavily for such events even though they’re rare.

So the videos you see are borderline of what is considered safe under regulations. The aircraft involved may have been low on fuel so detouring wasn’t considered to give enough margin for error, or conditions at other fields may have been worse.

Usually only large airliners would be cleared to takeoff and land in such conditions, as their size, power, and high landing speed reduces the impact of crosswind or turbulence.

There is, however, one area on earth where wind presents a regular and serious obstacle to flight. Namely Antarctica.

Most areas near the coast of Antarctica are subject to regular severe and long lasting wind storms. These are known as Catabatic winds. They are driven by the fact that the land on the continent may be -30 or -40°C while the surrounding ocean is roasting hot by comparison at -2° to -3°C. This is a huge temperature difference that drives fierce winds.

These winds last for days and are severe enough that even landing upwind is risky due to turbulence from the ground not to mention zero visibility from blowing snow. Furthermore diverting to another airstrip may not be an option and you may be wiser to just turn back over the open ocean to south America whence you came.

So flying to Antarctica requires careful weather forecasting and as a general rule you want any aircraft with enough fuel for the round trip.

Well, we build airports where they are needed.

There is a lot of wind around coasts

And owing to the Age of Sail, many large cities are coastal.

So it’s not a matter of windiness, it’s a matter of convenience.