Tue. May 24th, 2022

This week, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), the world’s second-busiest airport in 2021, completed its Northeast End-Around Taxiway (EAT). The completion of this project makes DFW the only airport in the United States with an end-around taxiway at both ends of a runway.

DFW is on a level of its own

The new end-around taxiway is a crucial part of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport’s overall ten-year infrastructure capital plan. Although the COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of pain and financial struggles, it also brought many opportunities for change. DFW airport saw the pandemic as an opportunity to complete some of the projects that are part of its capital plan. At the height of the pandemic, DFW completed a whopping 40+ projects that were valued at over $ 500m.

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Although the DFW airport was able to complete a significant number of projects during the pandemic, further expansion is still planned. The Texas airport has plans to rebuild and enhance runways, bridges, roadways, and to take care of other major infrastructure needs.

“At DFW, we are focused on the future. While we continue to evolve, our commitment to our customers and our community has not changed. We have invested not just in our infrastructure but in our future, ensuring you have the best experience on your journey through DFW airport. ” Khaled Naja, EVP of Infrastructure and Development, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport

The end-around taxiway project is part of a package that is funded by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). The package is focused on passenger experience and safety for those flying in and out of DFW.

What is an end-around taxiway (EAT)?

End-around taxiways are taxiways that are meant to reduce the number of runway crossings, and encircle the end of a runway so that aircraft do not have to cross active runways. In a typical airport with parallel runways, like Harry Reid International Airport, inboard runways are used for departing aircraft, and outboard runways are used for arriving aircraft. Without end-around taxiways, arriving aircraft are forced to cross active runways which increases the risks of delays, and incidents like runway incursions.

Photo: FAA

The airport diagram above is of the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. The airport has two primary runways, circled in red on the diagram. Runway 25L is used for arriving flights, and 25R is used for departing flights. When flights land on 25L, in order to taxi to the gate, must use runway exits that cross the active runway, 25R. The two most used runway exits used to exit 25L at LAS are A5 and A6, marked by the arrows on the map. At the bottom of the diagram, the FAA has written, “Caution: be alert to runway crossing clearances. Readback of all runway holding instructions is required.”


The purpose of the end-around taxiways is to reduce the risks of delays and incursions by allowing the aircraft to taxi around the end of active runways without interfering with operations on the runway. When EATs were first introduced, the intent was to allow EATs to be placed at the departure end of runways, so that taxiing aircraft could pass freely under departing aircraft. In addition to the EATs at departure ends of runways, some airports requested that the FAA approve EATs at the arriving end of runways. This meant that aircraft would be allowed to taxi under arriving aircraft as well.

The new EATs at DFW are located at the end ends of runways 17C / 35C and 17R / 35L. Photo: FAA

Today, the DFW airport has EATs at both ends of runways 17C / 35C and 17R / 35L, and the taxiway that was completed this week was the Northeast End-Around Taxiway. These special taxiways increase the airport’s operational efficiencies by reducing taxi time. The reduction in taxi time at DFW is expected to decrease by four minutes, but taxi time is not the only thing that will decrease at DFW. Aircraft operating costs will also decrease for airlines at the Texas airport.


The next step in the DFW enhancement project is to build an EAT at the Southwest corner of the airport, which will improve aircraft movement on runways 36L / 18R and 36R / 18L.


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