Flight Redemptions

What is C/L in Aviation? (Centre Line)

Updated: March 06, 2024

The Importance of the Centre Line in Aviation

When it comes to aviation, precision and accuracy are crucial. Pilots and ground crew rely on a variety of tools and markers to ensure safety and efficiency during flight operations. One such important marker is the Centre line (C/L), which plays a vital role in guiding aircraft on the ground. In this article, we will explore the significance of the Centre line and its various applications in aviation.

Definition and Purpose of the Centre Line

The Centre line, also known as the runway centerline, is a painted line that runs along the length of the runway. It serves as a visual reference for pilots during takeoff and landing, ensuring that the aircraft remains aligned with the runway's center. The Centre line is typically marked with white paint and is located in the middle of the runway's surface.

The primary purpose of the Centre line is to provide pilots with a clear and visible path to follow during critical phases of flight. By aligning the aircraft with the Centre line, pilots can ensure that they maintain the correct track and prevent any deviations that could lead to accidents or runway incursions. Additionally, the Centre line aids in maintaining proper spacing between aircraft during takeoff and landing, minimizing the risk of collisions.

Applications of the Centre Line in Aviation

The Centre line has several important applications in aviation, ranging from runway operations to aircraft taxiing. Let's explore some of these key applications:

Runway Operations

During takeoff, the Centre line helps pilots maintain a straight and precise path down the runway. By aligning the aircraft with the Centre line, pilots can ensure that they have enough runway length for a safe and successful takeoff. Deviating from the Centre line can lead to improper weight distribution, causing the aircraft to veer off course or even lose control.

Similarly, during landing, the Centre line plays a critical role in guiding the aircraft towards the runway's center. Pilots rely on the Centre line to maintain proper alignment and prevent drift, especially in challenging weather conditions such as crosswinds. By staying on the Centre line, pilots can make accurate judgments and adjustments to ensure a smooth touchdown.

Ground Operations and Taxiing

The Centre line is equally important during ground operations and taxiing. When aircraft are on the ground, the Centre line provides a clear reference point for pilots and ground crew. It helps in maintaining safe distances between aircraft and ensures organized movement on the apron and taxiways.

Furthermore, the Centre line assists in guiding the aircraft to and from the runway. Ground control personnel use the Centre line to direct aircraft during taxiing, ensuring that they follow the correct path and avoid any obstacles. By adhering to the Centre line, pilots can navigate the airport effectively, reducing the risk of collisions and improving overall ground safety.


The Centre line holds significant importance in aviation, serving as a visual guide for pilots and ground crew alike. Its presence on runways enhances safety, precision, and efficiency during takeoff, landing, and ground operations. By understanding the purpose and applications of the Centre line, aviation professionals can ensure that they adhere to the highest standards of safety and maintain smooth operations in the dynamic world of aviation.

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