Air transport is the fastest of all transport systems. Nowadays, it plays an important role in the development of a country. To facilitate rapid movement of goods and passengers, all important cities of a nation are connected by air. The construction of airport complexes is obviously essential for implementation of an air transport system. The following points should be studied while examining the need for an airport in a particular city or region.

  • Total population
  • Standard of living of population
  • Industrial, commercial and natural resources
  • International value of these resources
  • International importance of the place
  • Inland importance of the place
  • Strategic importance

Availability of Area

When it is felt necessary to establish an airport in a particular city or region, the availability of required area is the main consideration. An airport complex requires a large area which has to accommodate a terminal building, runway, taxi way, apron, hangar, etc. So a primary investigation has to be conducted around the city to locate a suitable.

Reconnaissance Survey

When a suitable area has apparently been located, a reconnaissance survey is conducted there to collect necessary data for further investigation which would involve preliminary survey, soil survey and so on. The reconnaissance survey should be based on the following points:

  • Extent of area
  • Mode of communication with the concerned city
  • Types of obstructions, difficulties, etc.
  • Configuration of the area
  • Preparing a record of properties eligible for compensation and estimating the type of opposition that may occur

Preliminary Survey

A preliminary survey is conducted in order to prepare a general map of the area. This map should show details of objects such as buildings, roads, railways, rivers, ponds, etc. The nature of the ground surface is illustrated in a contour map prepared separately. The preliminary survey should be conducted in the following way:

  • A Total station traverse is done covering the whole area, and the interior details are located also by total station.
  • A contour map is prepared by an indirect method, by taking spot levels with a leveling instrument.
  • If the area is very irregular, unsuitable for chaining, and extremely tedious to work on that level shall be taken by total station

Soil Survey

The design of the airport complex depends on the prevalent subsoil conditions. Therefore, a soil survey has to be carried out in order to know the nature of the subsoil in the area. Samples of soil at various depths are collected and tested in the soil testing laboratory. If suitable soil is not available, then it may be stabilized by appropriate methods. Generally the soil samples are collected by Auger boring or wash boring, or from test pits.

Meteorological Survey

This survey is conducted to know the details of wind direction throughout the year, amount of rainfall, nature of morning and evening fog of frost in winter, nature of snowfall (in hilly areas) and so on. The direction of wind is a vital factor to be considered while deciding the direction of runways.

Selection of Site

A suitable site is selected after examining the factors discussed above.The master plan of the airport complex is prepared according to sit conditions. Then this plan is oriented on the prepared map of the selected site.The various structures, such as the terminal building, hangar, etc., are designed. The constructional details of the runway, taxiway, apron, etc. are worked out Then the necessary drawings for these structures are prepared.

Preparation of Estimate

An estimate has to be prepared of the expenditure on the following:

  • Payment of compensation
  • Terminal building, hangar, runway, etc.
  • Other allied expenditure
  • Total cost of construction

Project Report

After all the necessary investigations have been carried out, a project report is prepared and submitted for departmental approval.


  • Cadastral Survey
  • GPS, RTK, DGPS Survey
  • Final Location Survey
  • Contour Survey
  • Drawing Digitization


  • Engineering Survey
  • Pipeline Survey
  • Topographical Survey
  • Land Survey


  • Road Survey
  • Railway Survey
  • Airport Road Survey
  • Dam Survey
  • Bridge Survey
  • Hill Survey
  • River Survey