Clear Zone

Runway clear zones are areas on the ground, located at the ends of each runway. They possess a high potential for accidents, and their use is restricted to be compatible with aircraft operations. Runway clear zones are required for the runway and should be owned or protected under a long-term lease. Table 3-5 shows the dimensional requirements for runway clear zones. Layout of the clear zones is shown in figures 3-4, 3-5, 3-6, 3-7, 3-9, 3-10, 3-12, 3-13, 3-15, 3-16, 3-18, 3-20, 3-21, and 3-22. Manholes, hand holes, and drainage structures outside the overrun area of clear zones should be designed to American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards.

27% of all aircraft crashes happen in the clear zone.

Class B RWYEdit

Length: 3,000 ft
Width: 3,000 ft

Treatment of Clear ZonesEdit

The clear zone consists of two distinctly different areas, the graded area and the land use control area (governed for the Air Force by AFI 32-7063 and AFH 32-7084). The graded area of the clear zone is prepared and maintained as an aircraft safety area. Preparation of the graded area must comply with the criteria given in this manual. The remainder of the clear zone is a land use control area intended to protect people on the ground. DODI 4165.57 and individual Service component directives govern land use within this area (see Appendix B, Section 3). USAF land use guidelines are provided in AFI 32-7063 and AFH 32-7084. For US Navy and Marine Corps installations, see OPNAVINST 11010.36B.

US Navy Clear ZonesEdit

-Type I Clear Zone.

This zone is immediately adjacent to the end of the runway. It should be cleared, graded, and free of above-ground objects (except airfield lighting) and is to receive special ground treatment or pavement in the area designated as the runway overrun. This clear zone is required at both ends of all runways.

-Type II Clear Zone.

This zone is used only for Class B runways and is an extension of the Type I clear zone except that the width is reduced. The Type II clear zone shall be graded and cleared of all above-ground objects except airfield lighting.

-Type III Clear Zone.

This zone is laterally adjacent to the Type II clear zone for Class B runways and is used in lieu of the Type II clear zone at Class A runways and basic training outlying fields used by the T-34 aircraft. Objects in this zone shall not penetrate the approach-departure clearance surface. Trees, shrubs, bushes, or any other natural growth shall be topped 3 m (10 ft) below the approach-departure clearance surface or to a lesser height if necessary to ensure the visibility of airfield lighting. Buildings for human habitation shall not be sited in the Type III clearance surface. The land in this type of clear zone is best used for agriculture or permanent open space exclusive of any agricultural use that would attract birds or water fowl. Land uses that would include human activity for extended periods or group activities should be avoided. Transverse ways (e.g., roads, railroads, canals) are permitted provided that they would not penetrate airfield imaginary surfaces after the height of the transverse way has been increased by the distances specified in NAVFAC P-80.3, section II, paragraph B.[1]


  1. UFC 3-260-01

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