Updates on weather and any special local airport situations (e.g. "glider activity in the area") are constantly broadcast by the local airport via radio on a special frequency. Updates are renamed alphabetically whenever conditions change.Werner listens, and jots down the information on his clipboard. When requesting permission from the ground controller to drive ("taxi") the airplane to the runway, he must state which update he has. The update at our departure time of 4:10 happened to be the 5th one of the day, E ("Echo").Werner on the radio: "Waterloo Ground, this is Foxtrot Foxtrot Zulu Oscar, Cessna one-fifty, with Information Echo."Only larger airports have this service. However, pilots anywhere can contact Flight Service to file a flight plan, and get weather briefings as well as special notices called NOTAMs. Filing a flight plan.
Runways are numbered according to the compass headings on which the plane takes off or lands, rounded off to the nearest 10, and dropping a 0.For example, the layout of Waterloo Region’s Runway 14 (One-Four) is such that the plane faces it at a heading of 140 degrees (facing SE).If the winds blow the other way, the pilot needs to land and take-off in the opposite direction. The same runway, faced from the opposite direction (NW), is numbered 32 (Three-Two), for a compass heading of 320 degrees.Most paved runways have the appropriate numbers painted on each end for easy identification on approach.