The two runways of Liège Airport, the country’s largest freight airport, will receive a new name in mid August. They will be renamed 04R / 22L and 04L / 22R instead of 05R / 23L and 05L / 23R. The new name has to do with the shift of the magnetic north.
Worldwide, runways are numbered based on their orientation relative to the magnetic north. The latter, however, shifts a little each year, so that a change of name takes place over time.
That is the case now for the two runways of Liege Airport, which are parallel. They get a new name in the night of 16th to 17th August 2017. “Safety is paramount,” said airport spokesman Christian Delcourt. “We cannot afford the least confusion, so all the changes are made at once. A whole challenge for an airport that opens aroud the clock.”
For example, all markings must be painted on the ground and all signs along the taxiways replaced. Also, all documents for pilots, air traffic controllers, handlers, etc. must be modified and a whole range of electronic systems must be reprogrammed.
At Brussels Airport there was a similar operation in September 2013. The runways 02/20 were then renamed 01/19.