Airport vs Aerodrome – Difference and Comparison

What is an Airport?

An airport can be understood as a place for the landing and take-off of airplanes. It has runways for the plane to take off or land. A minimum one runway is required. An airport can be classified into five types: national, regional, local, basic and unclassified.

An airport has facilities for the convenience of passengers. These include a waiting room, security check, check-in facility, and passport control. The check-in facility comes with the advantage of baggage drop off.

An airport needs to have either domestic flights or international flights. It can have both. It is mandatory to follow and surpass the standards mentioned by ICAO.
There are eating hubs located in or near the airport. These are called airport restaurants.

Even shops are available, which can be explored during the waiting hours. All this is done to comfort the passengers.
It is a common term used worldwide.

What is an Aerodrome?

An aerodrome is also known as an airdrome(American English). It is a place where flight operations take place. It can be an airstrip, water aerodrome, airport or any other place. It deals with landing and taking off airplanes without specific runway requirements.

It just has to follow safety guidelines. It doesn’t follow ICAO standards. It may or may not have a massive staff like an airport.
It is not necessary to have domestic or international flights. No passenger facility is taken into consideration. It is used for varied purposes.

It can be further divided into various types. These are an airport, airbase, airstrip, and water aerodrome. Even military bases are counted as aerodromes.

It is a less common term. It is almost unknown to native Americans. It is used in UK and Commonwealth countries. It has a broader spectrum as all airports can be considered aerodromes, but not all are airports.

Eating hubs, shops, waiting rooms, baggage drop off and other facilities are not necessarily available at all aerodromes.

Difference Between an Airport and Aerodrome

  1. An airport is a place with runways for taking off and landing flights. On the other hand, aerodromes deal with flight operations without necessarily having a runway.
  2. An airport must follow ICAO standards. Whereas, an aerodrome has no specific standard regulations. They only follow safety guidelines.
  3. An airport has domestic and international flights but an aerodrome deals with flight operations irrespective of domestic and international flights and passengers.
  4. An airport can always be considered an aerodrome but an aerodrome may not necessarily be an airport.
  5. “Airport” is a very popular term used by everyone around the world. But the term aerodrome is limited to UK and Commonwealth Nations.
  6. An airport takes care of the passengers and facilities for them. On the other hand, an aerodrome may or may not have these facilities.

Comparison Between Airport and Aerodrome

Parameters of ComparisonAirportAerodrome
DefinitionAn airport is a place for the arrival and departure of flights with at least a runway and passengers facilities.An aerodrome is a place where flight operation takes place regardless of passengers, military aircraft, cargo.
Located onLandLand and water
ICAO standardsShould match these standards.Do not follow standards. Just follow safety guidelines.
Passenger facilitiesAvailableNot necessarily available
PopularityMore used, almost everywhere in the world.The less popular term
used in UK and Commonwealth nations.
A place with basic facilities, runway, domestic/ international flights is only called an airport.
Any place with flight operations is an aerodrome. All airports are Aerodromes.
ExampleChennai International AirportCotswold Airport