San Lorenzo Citizens Fighting Airport Noise

Hayward Airport Layout Plan Revision

Airport Reference Code

About Airport Reference Codes

The Airport Reference Code (ARC) is a coding system developed by the Federal Aviation Administration to relate airport design criteria to the operational and physical characteristics of the airplane types that will operate at a particular airport. (The ARC is part of design standards established in the FAA Advisory Circular 150/5300-13, Airport Design, June 2008.)

The ARC has two components relating to the airport design aircraft. The first component, depicted by a letter, is the "approach category" and is based on aircraft approach speed. The second component, depicted by a Roman numeral, is the airplane "design group" and is based on airplane wingspan.

Generally, aircraft approach speed applies to runways and runway length-related features. Airplane wingspan primarily relates to separation-of-aircraft criteria and width-related features.

Airports expected to accommodate single-engine airplanes normally fall into Airport Reference Code A-I or B-I. Airports serving larger general aviation and commuter-type planes are usually Airport Reference Code B-II or B-III. Small to medium-sized airports serving air carriers are usually Airport Reference Code C-III, while larger air carrier airports are usually Airport Reference Code D-VI or D-V.


A< 90
B91 - 120
C121 - 140
D141 - 165
E166 or more



Ito 48
II49 - 78
III79 - 117
IV118 - 170
V171 - 213
VI214 - 262

In order to determine the appropriate ARC for an airport, a "design aircraft" is first determined. The design aircraft is typically the most demanding aircraft (in terms of an airport's physical features) that conducts at least 500 annual operations at the airport.

The Situation at Hayward Airport

The 2002 Hayward Airport Master Plan designates the Airport Reference Code for the airport as B-II. The "design aircraft" for the airport fitting that category is a Cessna Citation V (see picture).

As a result of recent increased operations (number of departures and landings) of medium-size business jet aircraft at the airport, the consultants claim that the existing ARC for Hayward is C-II. The design aircraft fitting that category is a Challenger CL601 (see picture).

The consultants have forecast that in the year 2020 the ARC for Hayward will be D-II, with the representative design aircraft being the Gulfstream IV (see picture). They are thus recommending that the revised airport layout plan submitted to the FAA for approval be based on ARC D-II, in order to avoid having to upgrade to that ARC in later years.

Citation V

Challenger 601

Gulfstream IV

Approach speed (knots)107125149
Wingspan (feet)52.2564.3377.83
Max. design takeoff weight (lb)15,90044,60074,600
Max. fuel capacity (gal)8612,9834,917

Remember, the "design aircraft" is one that conducts at least 500 annual operations (one operation is one takeoff or landing). Because no one type of business jet conducts 500 annual operations at Hayward Airport, the consultants for the City of Hayward have combined the operations of a number of jet types to define the ARC for the airport. The jet operations at Hayward Airport used to support the higher recommended ARC (D-II) are the following for the period April 2007 to April 2008. Only the highest numbers of annual operations are listed.

Design Group I


Lear 160186
Lear 35173
Lear 55163
Citation Jet138
Hawker 25135
Design Group II


Citation V484
Gulfstream IV168
Citation II131
Challenger 601123

The current proposal (as of December 2008) is to keep Runway 10L-28R classified as ARC B-I, small airplanes exclusively.

[Updated May 18, 2009]