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