Karen, a commercial pilot from Utah, asks: “Where on an airport is the “official” altitude measured? Is it the ramp, the terminal, the beacon tower, the middle of the runway? If so, which runway? I was on the ramp at Hemphill County Airport (KHHF), in Canadian, Texas, the other day and the terminal is on a hill overlooking everything and it got me to wondering.”
I confess that I never thought about where the official altitude of the field is measured from until you asked, nor do I recall any instructor ever teaching me about this back in the day.
But once you brought it up, I can think of dozens of airports that are far from flat. And I, too, have been to KHHF, with its uphill hike to the pilot relief station. And it’s the only airport that I’ve ever visited that has a subterranean tornado shelter!
Not that I was there during a tornado or anything, but finding the answer to your question initiated a whirlwind of activity.[Read more…]