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A pair of aircraft on an area of hardstand

A hardstand or hard standing is a paved area for parking heavy vehicles.


Hardstand are found at airports, military facilities, freight terminals, and other facilities where heavy vehicles need to be parked for significant periods of time.

At airports, hardstands enable airliners to board/offload passengers with stair trucks, mobile ramps, and (on smaller aircraft) built-in airstairs without needing dedicated jet bridges. At remote hardstands, airside shuttle bus service is commonly provided between the aircraft and the terminal.


Heavy vehicles can sometimes be parked on areas of unpaved compacted earth for short periods of time. But if left parked in these areas for extended periods of time, heavy vehicles can sink into the soil and become mired.


Enola Gay maneuvers into position at a hardstand upon returning to North Field on Tinian following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Hardstands are paved with materials including concrete heavy duty pavers which give a lot of maintenance flexibility over other products as well as strength for the life of the project or asphalt/macadam. The paving is usually designed to be thicker and more durable than drives, city streets, or automobile parking lots in order to support the weight of heavy vehicles such as large airplanes, tanks, or heavy trucks.

See also[edit]


  • US Army Technical Manual TM5-823-4 (PDF). 1988. OCLC 609522851. Retrieved 2015-07-28.