Runway Safety Summer Safety Initiative
Notice Number: NOTC1789
This past May, the FAA Office of Runway Safety implemented a Summer Initiative targeted at stemming what has become a seasonal pattern of increasing runway incursions during the warm weather months. Compared to the rest of the year, runway incursions average about 30 percent higher per month between May and August.
Two-thirds of all runway incursions are the result of pilot deviations – and three-fourths of those pilot deviations involve a general aviation aircraft.
Part of the problem stems from pilots who, after a period of little or no flying, may be a little rusty on airport procedures. That rust, however, can have tragic consequences in the area of an active runway. In fact, the single most deadly aviation accident in history resulted from a runway incursion. Don’t become a statistic!
Here’s what you can do:
Stop Anytime you’re unclear or unsure about your location or about an ATC instruction or about anything else, don’t hesitate to call the tower and ask for help. If you are on a runway without approval, exit the runway, and contact ATC.
Look Before taxiing: Study the airport diagram before starting your engine. Keep a copy in the cockpit. Download airport diagrams at: http://www.naco.faa.gov/. Pay careful attention to airfield signs and markings. Complete checklists, programming, and other pre-flight activities. While taxiing: Practice heads-up and eyes-out. Avoid distracting tasks; focus on your route.
Listen Listen carefully to, write down, and read back all air traffic instructions. Get ATC approval before crossing or using any runway. “Taxi to” does not allow you to enter the runway.
Finally, talk to your fellow pilots. Help us raise runway safety awareness. If we, working as a team, can prevent even one runway incursion, this campaign will be a success.
There is a nice reminder card available for you to download at https://www.faasafety.gov/files/notices/2009/Jul/FAA_Runway_Incursions.pdf
For more information contact Gregory Y. Won, Air Traffic Safety Organization, Runway Safety Office, Risk Reduction Information Group, 202-385-4792