Fly Safe: Prevent Runway Incidents

By Newsroom America Feeds at 4 Aug 2017

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*August 4 - Heads Up!* After a busy flight, you might think the challenging bits are all behind you as youre taxiing across your airports surface, but that is no time to let your guard down. In fact, pilots need to be extra vigilant when it comes to runway safety.

What is runway safety? Its your active participation in making sure the beginning and the conclusion of your flight are safe. It means everyone sharing that airport surface, including pilots and airport vehicle drivers, stays vigilant, follows directions, and remains alert. Ground operations require your full attention until you park your aircraft.

Runway safety continues to be one of the FAAs highest priorities. Pilot deviations are of particular concern due to their potential for a collision. The greatest loss of life in a single airplane accident was the result of a runway collision in which 585 passengers and crew lost their lives when two 747 aircraft collided on the island of Tenerife.

By remaining alert on the airport surface, you can help avoid collision risks like runway incursions, where an unauthorized aircraft, vehicle, or person is on a runway and is adversely affecting runway safety. Actions that could lead to a runway incursion include taxiing or taking off without clearance, deviating from an assigned taxi route, or failing to hold short of an assigned clearance limit.

How big a problem is this? The FAA has devoted many resources, including a dedicated Runway Safety office, to raising awareness among pilots and providing continuing education on the topic. Theres a lot of information available to you, and it is a good idea to review these resources on a regular basis

* You can begin by knowing your airports layout, including hot spots, which are locations on an airport movement area where there is a history of runway incursion. These hot spots need your undivided attention. * You also need to know how to quickly read and understand signs and markings that you see on the runway and airport movement areas. One of the most critical markings on the airport surface is the runway holding position marking (four yellow stripes two solid, two dashed). You will need proper clearance from air traffic control to cross this line when approaching a runway from a taxiway.

To ensure pilots see these markings, the FAA developed an enhanced taxiway centerline that helps alert pilots that they are approaching a runway. The enhanced centerline consists of a series of staggered dashed lines on either side of the yellow taxiway centerline, 150 feet from the runway holding position markings. These markings are required at Part 139 airports, but theyre becoming more common at many smaller GA airports, too.

* Elevated runway guard lights or wig-wag lights, are also used at many airports to help pilots identify a runway holding position. These lights may be elevated at either side of a taxiway or used as a series of in-pavement lights across the holding position marking.

The FAA is also working to further standardize airport signage. Brightly-colored signs are now being used to alert pilots to airport construction projects.

New lighting advancements, including brighter lights and runway status lights (RWSLs), are being used at more airports. RWSLs use surveillance data to illuminate and warn pilots it is unsafe to enter, cross, or take-off on a runway.

Electronic message boards, apps for your phone or tablet, and ADS-B technologies are also being developed to ensure that ALL phases of your flight remain safe.

*Message from FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta:* The FAA and industry are working together to prevent Loss of Control (LOC) accidents and save lives. You can help make a difference by joining our #Fly Safe campaign. Every month on, we provide pilots with Loss of Control solutions developed by a team of experts some of which are already reducing risk. I hope you will join us in this effort and spread the word. Follow #FlySafe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I know that we can reduce these accidents by working together as a community.

* **Learn more:*

The FAAs Runway Safety webpage has lots of diagrams, hot spots and videos for you to review.

The FAA Airport Safety Information Video Series helps you visualize the challenge of runway safety operations, and each video provides helpful tips for staying safe.

This FAA Fact Sheet (PDF) will help you avoid Pilot Deviations.

The following FAA Safety Briefing articles cover runway safety:

* Theres Light at the End of the Runway Using Data to and Technology to Improve Runway Safety (PDF), Jan/Feb 2014 * It Can Happen to You A Runway Incursion Confession (PDF), Sep/Oct 2013 * It Can Happen to Anyone Lessons Learned from a Runway Incursion (PDF), Nov/Dec 2011 * Avoiding Runway IncursionsIts All In Your Head (PDF), Mar/Apr 2010 has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars and more on key general aviation safety topics.

Check out GA Safety Enhancements fact sheets on the mainFAA Safety Briefing, including Flight Risk Assessment Tools.

TheWINGS Pilot Proficiency Program pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.

TheGeneral Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) comprised of government and industry experts who work together to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies to reduce the risk of GA accidents. The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers in the FAA, several government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and stakeholder groups. Industry participants include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, and the aviation insurance industry. The National Transportation Safety Board and the European Aviation Safety Agency participate as observers.

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