Each time a pilot operates an aircraft, the flight normally begins and ends at an airport. An airport may be a small sod field or a large complex utilized by air carriers. Increased traffic congestion, aircraft in climb and descent attitudes, and pilot preoccupation with cockpit duties are some factors that increase the hazardous accident potential near the airport. The situation is further compounded when the weather is marginal, that is, just meeting visual flight rules requirements. Pilots must be particularly alert when operating in the vicinity of an airport.

This section examines airport operations, identifies features of an airport complex, and provides information on operating on or in the vicinity of an airport.