NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum

I am unsure what to classify roads around airports as. I personally think that airside roads should be highway=service due to being private roads only used by airport staff, but landside roads are far more confusing.

On one hand, the main access to an airport could be considered highway=service due to being owned by the airport authority and having no use as through routes. However, these roads often serve huge volumes of traffic, and although very rarely classified, still warrant at least a highway=tertiary. It is also possible to go for the middle ground and use highway=unclassified. The third option is the one used at Dublin Airport, the closest airport to my home.

What are your thoughts on this? Please let me know.

asked 23 Oct '20, 18:17

computerfan0's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

According to wiki «Mark internal service roads as ways tagged with highway=service. Include access=private if the public are not able to use them», so highway=service is the perfect way to tag them.

permanent link

answered 23 Oct '20, 18:32

Mannivu's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%


I am mostly asking about the classification of the external roads that people use to access the terminals and the car parks, not the airside roads. The roads I'm talking about often carry huge volumes of traffic to the terminals and car parks, and I think that highway=service implies too small a road for major international airports.

(23 Oct '20, 18:52) computerfan0

I think that those are service roads too, since they are there for a specific reason.

(23 Oct '20, 18:55) Mannivu

You can say any road is there for a specific reason. A motorway bypass of a town has the specific purpose of allowing traffic to avoid the town.

(23 Oct '20, 19:31) computerfan0

Yes, I expressed myself badly. Service roads are those kind of roads that, generally, «allow access to parking, driveways, and alleys» (wiki) and this covers roads that lead to terminals too.

(23 Oct '20, 19:36) Mannivu

Main access roads to airport facilities (terminals, parking areas, cargo areas, ...) warrant a higher classification in my opinion. There isn't a strict rule, just use your best judgement. I can very well imagine these roads being rated anything between primary and unclassified. The smaller branching roads that serve access to parking lots or lanes for dropping off passengers can be classified as service roads.

permanent link

answered 24 Oct '20, 18:01

TZorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 23 Oct '20, 18:17

question was seen: 1,343 times

last updated: 24 Oct '20, 18:01

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum