What Are Dallas Fort Worth’s End-Around Taxiways?

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

DFW is on its own level

The new end taxiway is a critical part of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport’s comprehensive ten-year infrastructure capital plan. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of pain and financial hardship, it has also brought many opportunities for change. DFW Airport has seen 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 over 40 projects valued at over $500 million.

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Although DFW Airport has been able to complete a significant number of projects during the pandemic, further expansion is still planned. Texas Airport plans to rebuild and improve runways, bridges, roads and address other major infrastructure needs.

“At DFW, we are focused on the future. As we continue to evolve, our commitment to our customers and our community has not changed. We have invested not only in our infrastructure but also in our future, ensuring you the best experience on your trip through DFW Airport.” Khaled Naja, Executive Vice President of Infrastructure and Development, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport

The end taxiway project is part of a package funded by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). The package is focused on passenger experience and safety for those entering and exiting DFW.

What is an alternate taxiway (EAT)?

Bypass taxiways are taxiways intended to reduce the number of runway crossings and to encircle the end of a runway so that aircraft do not have to cross active runways. At a typical airport with parallel runways, such as Harry Reid International Airport, the inner runways are used for departing aircraft and the outer runways are used for arriving aircraft. Without end taxiways, arriving aircraft are forced to cross active runways, increasing the risk of delays and incidents such as runway incursions.

Photo: FAA

The airport diagram above shows Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. The airport has two main 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, they must use the runway exits that cross the active runway, 25R. The two most commonly used runway exits to exit 25L at LAS are A5 and A6, indicated by the arrows on the map. At the bottom of the diagram, the FAA wrote, “Caution: Pay attention to runway crossing clearances. Re-reading of all runway holding instructions is required.”


The purpose of bypass taxiways is to reduce the risk of delays and incursions by allowing aircraft to bypass the end of active runways without interfering with runway operations. When EATs were first introduced, the intention 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 EATs at the departure ends of runways, some airports have requested FAA approval for EATs at the arrival end of runways. This meant that aircraft would also be allowed to taxi under arriving aircraft.

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

Today, 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 taxiway. These special taxiways increase the operational efficiency of the airport by reducing taxi time. The reduced taxi time at DFW is expected to drop by four minutes, but taxi time isn’t 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 improvement project is to construct 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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