January 10th, 2008

Roman

tarmac

I have wondered for a while what the difference is between "tarmac" and "asphalt" paving. There is a difference, but the term "tarmac" is often used for asphalt, because the materials used are similar. Tarmac is short for tarmacadam, which is a combination of tar and macadam, and is a labor-intensive surface and therefore is not used much any more. In fact, most airports use concrete - yet people still refer to the landing area as "tarmac".

Just so you know. That stuff we walk on in airports is not likely to be tarmac.