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von Catesse (AU), 2017-03-17, 14:14  like dislike  Spam?  
I think that this entry needs some discussion.
The "tarmac" of an airfield simply is not the "Rollbahn".
The "Rollbahn" is the "runway", where aircraft land and take off.
The "tarmac" is any paved or similar firm area where aircraft are parked or taxiing in preparation for moving on to the runway. (Been there, done that.)
von asf, 2017-03-17, 14:39  like dislike  Spam?  87.79.149....
I don't know, if this blog entry is helpful or even more confusing:

If you agree with the mentionend Macmillan Dictionary definition, tarmac does not even refer to the runway, but to the part where people walk across to get to the plane.
From the OED:  #866937
von Lllama (GB/AT), Last modified: 2017-03-17, 19:33  like dislike  Spam?
the tarmac (colloq.), the airfield or runway.

That's how I understand it, which also is how Catesse understands it (from what she's written).

The entry needs some work.
Wikipedia(EN): Tarmac  Bit of a colloquialism these days, isn't it?  #866945
von Proteus-, 2017-03-18, 00:08  like dislike  Spam?  194.96.54...
Proteus  #866949
von Catesse (AU), 2017-03-18, 01:57  like dislike  Spam?  
Not sure, Proteus. The last flying that I did was in 1955, in a country town where the airfield had neither a sealed runway nor a proper tarmac. A bit scary; you had to know where the potholes were. "Tarmac" does sound a bit 1914-18, although it was certainly used long after that. I feel that the person writing the wiki article might know quite a lot about the evolution of the material known as tarmacadam, but very little about aviation.
4; Lllama: I cannot access your link without registering as a subscriber, and I am not going to do that. However, tarmac, airfield and runway are three different things, and suggesting that they are the same would make a traditional airman's hair stand straight on end. It is sloppy at best. Both the tarmac and the runway are parts of the airfield.
Airfield layout  #866950
von Catesse (AU), 2017-03-18, 02:03  like dislike  Spam?  
Sample layout of a small, modern airfield.
Google: airfield layout
The straight, grey area is the runway. The narrower beige areas are the taxiways; they also have other names. The grey area, bottom right, tagged as "Apron Asphalt" is what would have been called the tarmac.
Chat: rollbahn  #866955
von Darth D, 2017-03-18, 09:35  like dislike  Spam?  91.21.102....
On the German side, the entry for "Rollbahn" should be cleaned up:

"Rollbahn" refers to the taxiway ("Rollen" is a slow movement), not the runway.

Wikipedia(DE): Rollbahn

"Start- und Landebahn" is the equivalent of runway.

According to Wiki, the airport apron is called "Vorfeld".

Wikipedia(EN): Airport_apron (includes a section about "tarmac")
Wikipedia(DE): Vorfeld_(Flugplatz)
Darth  #866959
von Catesse (AU), 2017-03-18, 10:13  like dislike  Spam?  
Thanks for elucidation on the German side.
Catesse -  #867004
von Lllama (GB/AT), 2017-03-19, 13:56  like dislike  Spam?  
I know that not everybody can access the OED site, that's why I copied the relevant part of the entry.
I don't read the entry to mean that tarmac, airfield and runmay are all the same; just that, colloquially, tarmac can be used to mean the runway or other (tarmacked) parts of the airfield, such as the taxiway and apron.
von aphoenix (US), 2017-03-19, 21:41  like dislike  Spam?  
At present, there are 28 votes for this entry, where we start out somewhere on the tarmac, of which the runway is usually a small fraction, and then clarify that, no, we don't mean just anywhere on the tarmac, we actually mean the runway, which, in translation becomes the taxiway? Everyone does realize, I hope, that being on the runway when one is supposed to be on the taxiway, or vice versa, is a mistake that can cost peoples' lives (and cost one one's license if one survives).

to be on the tarmac [coll.] [to be on the runway] sich auf dem Rollfeld befinden

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