Course Title: Airport Design

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Airport Design

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities.

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption.

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT:

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance:

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2021

Course Coordinator: Assoc Professor Chrystal Zhang

Course Coordinator Phone: -

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 057.03.027

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study

You should have satisfactorily completed the following courses before commencing this course:

AERO2382 - Airport Planning and Management
AERO2383 - Airport/Airline Operations

Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course.
Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning. 

Course Description

This course provides you with an understanding of the principles and practices relating to airport design and operations.
The course introduces you to airport design, airport business models (including airport economics and financial management), airport site selection and runway system orientation, geometric design of the airport/air field, taxiways, apron areas, airport classification codes, structural design of airport pavements, airport lighting, marking and signage and airport design, airport master planning, aircraft ground handling, and airport security.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for students who commenced their program prior to 2023:

Needs, context and systems:

  • Identify, interpret and analyse stakeholder needs, establish priorities and the goals, constraints and uncertainties of the system (social, cultural, legislative, environmental, business etc.), using systems thinking, while recognising ethical implications of professional practice.

Problem-solving and design:

  • Apply problem solving, design and decision-making methodologies to develop components, systems and/ or processes to meet specified requirements, including innovative approaches to synthesise alternative solutions, concepts and procedures.

Abstraction and modelling:

  • Apply abstraction, mathematics and discipline fundamentals to analysis, design and operation, using appropriate computer software, laboratory equipment and other devices, ensuring model applicability, accuracy and limitations.

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for students who commenced their program in 2023:

  • PLO1: Demonstrate an in-depth understanding and knowledge of fundamental engineering and scientific theories, principles and concepts and apply advanced technical knowledge in specialist domain of engineering. 
  • PLO2: Utilise mathematics and engineering fundamentals, software, tools and techniques to design engineering systems for complex engineering challenges.    
  • PLO5: Communicate respectfully and effectively with diverse audiences, employing a range of communication methods, practising professional and ethical conduct.

Upon completion of this course you should be able to:

a) Demonstrate broad appreciation of airport design and operations by being able to perform relevant tasks, such as:

  • Describe the importance of air traffic separation rules on airport design and operations, and the role of visual and radio aids for navigation in the airport precinct and their implications on airport design.
  • Explain the various phases of the airport master planning process
  • Demonstrate an appropriate understanding of airport apron design.
  • Describe the importance of airside lighting, marking and signage requirements for airport design.
  • Discuss the importance and impact of airport financial management.

b) Demonstrate your analytical skills relevant to airport design and operations by being able to perform relevant tasks, such as:

  • Critically analyse and discuss the factors considered by airports when selecting the site for a new airport.
  • Critically analyse technical characteristics of airport runways and their impact on aircraft operations.
  • Evaluate the impact of aircraft noise and emissions for airport operations and design
  • Evaluate airport taxiway configurations.
  • Evaluate airport terminal requirements

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn this course through pre-recorded lectures, directed reading, class room discussion, and investigative research. The learning process is reinforced through problem-based learning using case studies.

Overview of Learning Resources

Course-related resources will be provided on Canvas. These will include course notes, and other learning materials generated by the course lecturer(s), references, and approved links to useful material on external web-sites.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.


Assessment Task 1: Online Quizzes
Weighting: 10%
This task supports CLOs 1 and 2

Assessment Task 2: Individual Assignment
Weighting: 20%
This task supports CLOs 1 and 2

Assessment Task 3: Group Assignment
Weighting: 50%
This task supports CLOs 1 and 2

Assessment Task 4: Group Assignment
Weighting: 20%
This task supports CLOs 1 and 2