is a designated location for aircraft
to take off and land. While smaller airports - more often called aerodromes, airfields or landing strips - might include short dirt or grassed runways, larger airports available for international flights normally feature paved strips, perhaps one or several kilometres long, together with a large complex of buildings where air traffic is controlled, passengers can embark on planes, and cargo can be stored. The buildings where passengers interface with ground transportation, purchase tickets, transfer their luggage, and go through security are typically called terminals
, and the buildings that provide access to the airplanes are typically called concourses. However, these two terms can be interchangeable. Customs
facilities for international travel often distinguish an airport from an airfield and require a more conspicuous level of physical security.
Airports are uniquely represented by their IATA airport code and ICAO airport code. In the USA, and in certain other countries, they are often named after a prominent local celebrity, commonly a politician.
The traffic generated by airports both in the air and on the surface can be a major source of aviation noise and air pollution which may, in extreme cases, be harmful to health or interrupt sleep. The construction of new airports, or additional runways to existing airports, is often resisted by local residents because of the destruction it causes to the countryside, historical sites, local flora and fauna etc.
An aircraft carrier is a naval ship that serves as mobile seaborne military airfield.
See list of airports, airport security, list of aviation topics