Runway Safety News
Here is where you will find news forwarded to us by professional Runway Safety experts. Be sure to also reference the SoCal Airports page for location specific news, and the INFO Warehouse Page that also may have Runway Safety Tips and Safety Information in general.
From the Flight Deck
FAA's From the Flight Deck video series provides pilots with actual runway approach and airport taxiway footage captured with cockpit mounted cameras, combined with diagrams and visual graphics to clearly identify hot spots and other safety-sensitive items.
View the map below for From the Flight Deck videos and links to location-specific safety information. New locations will be added to the map as videos become available.
Wrong Surfaces, and You
Notice Number: NOTC0006
A wrong surface event occurs when an aircraft lands or departs, or tries to land or depart, on the wrong runway or on a taxiway. It also occurs when an aircraft lands or tries to land at the wrong airport. In 2019, there were 480 wrong surface events. Over 80 percent of those involved general aviation pilots.
Reducing this risk is one of the FAA’s top priorities. We need your help!
Please consider these best practices when interacting with your students, applicants, peers, and mentors:
Familiarize pilots with Chart Supplements, Airport Diagrams, NOTAMs, and other preflight resources.
Use the FAA’s From the Flight Deck videos! www.faa.gov/airports/runway_safety/videos/
Work the videos into Airman Certification Standards tasks, such as Private Pilot ACS Task D, Cross-Country Flight Planning.
Share techniques to verify correct runway alignment, like magnetic compass orientation, referencing underlying instrument approach courses, mnemonic devices, etc.
Discourage overreliance on technology. Electronic Flight Bags and moving map displays are intended to increase pilot situational awareness and safety.
Take appropriate action when technology is compensating for skill or is a distraction.
Encourage runway safety checks on short final, including verification of the correct runway, and ensuring that no vehicles or aircraft are present.
Strictly enforce a go-around policy when there is any doubt of making a safe landing on the correct surface.
For more information or resources, check out SAFO 17010.
FAA Commercial Operations Branch
FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education
Notice Number: NOTC9957
Sometimes our expectations as pilots don’t always match those of Air Traffic Control’s. Here’s a quick review of expectations for operations on or near runways to keep you safe.
• After landing, you are expected to clear the runway without delay, taxiing until the entire aircraft has cleared the hold short marking. AIM 4-3-20
• When you obtain an air traffic clearance, you are expected to execute its provisions upon receipt. For example, do not unnecessarily delay takeoff. AIM 4-4-10
• Your prompt compliance with air traffic clearances is expected. AIM 5-5-2
• Sometimes a clearance will include the word “IMMEDIATE” to impress urgency, and your expeditious compliance is expected. AIM 4-4-10
• If you cannot accept or comply with an air traffic clearance, simply tell the controller “UNABLE”, and work with them to find an alternative solution. That includes times when you may not be able to comply promptly, upon receipt of a clearance. Pilot/Controller Glossary
While the FAA does not define “prompt”, it’s important to know that clearances to takeoff and land are predicated on known traffic and airport conditions. For example, a clearance to takeoff may turn into a clearance for IMMEDIATE takeoff after a delay of as little as ten (10) seconds at a busy airport. So, don’t delay without first communicating your intentions with Air Traffic Control. The time you spend on runways should be minimized.
FAA Commercial Operations Branch
AOPA AIR SAFETY INSTITUTE ASI has released a Runway Safety Tip Video
TALPA, RCAM, FICON are terms that are explained. This video reveals the way Runway Surface Conditions are described making it easier for pilots to listen. It's a short video with a big message. See it by CLICKING HERE.
AC 150/5210-25A - Performance Specification for Airport Vehicle Runway Incursion Warning Systems (RIWS) Document Information
Date Issued: December 19, 2019
Responsible Office: AAS-100, Office of Airport Safety & Standards - Airport Engineering Division
Description: This AC provides a performance specification for an airport vehicle runway incursion warning system (RIWS).
150/5200-30D - Draft Change 2 to AC 150/5200-30D, Airport Field Condition Assessments and Winter Operations Safety
Date issued 12/12/2019 Responsible Office: AAS-300, Office of Airport Safety and Operations - Airport Safety & Operations Division
Change 2 provides guidance to airport operators on snow removal around airport NAVAIDs and on when to issue new runway condition reports.
The Change file only includes pages revised by this Change. For the complete document, see AC 150/5200-30D.
150/5200-30D Change 2 (revised pages only) (PDF, 597 KB)
Industry Letter for Draft Change 2 to AC 150/5200-30D (PDF, 138 KB)
Comment Matrix for Draft Change 2 to AC 150/5200-30D (MS Excel, 35 KB)
Comments are requested by January 17, 2020. Please visit the page to access the draft AC and read procedures for submitting comments.
Runway Safety Tips for Instrument Pilots
Notice Number: NOTC9879
The ILS Critical Area protects aircraft utilizing the ILS against interference and course distortion caused by other aircraft or vehicles near the antennas. Have you ever seen an ILS Critical Area sign or marking and wondered what you were supposed to do about it? Here are some quick tips for avoiding a pilot deviation, or causing someone else’s missed approach.
• ATC must protect the ILS Critical Area when there is an aircraft on an approach inside the FAF, and the weather is at or below 800’ or 2 miles.
• If the conditions warrant, ATC will issue “Hold short of [RWY] ILS Critical Area.”
• If you receive that clearance, you MUST keep your entire aircraft clear of the associated marking, and remain on the safe side of the ILS Critical Area.
Safety works best when we help each other, so if the weather is at or below 800’ or 2 miles and ATC hasn’t issued you an ILS hold, it doesn’t hurt to hold short and ask anyway. Remember, ILS Critical Areas are only mandatory when ATC issues a hold. If the field is uncontrolled, there is no requirement to hold short of the ILS Critical Area. That said, be mindful of the weather and inbound aircraft, and consider holding short if conditions warrant.
Here are some quick references:
FAA Commercial Operations Branch, AFS-820
FAA Completes Runway Warning System at 20 Airports
by Gordon Gilbert in AINonline
"The FAA’s Runway Status Lights (RWSL) system is now operational at all 20 major U.S. airports slated to have the new technology. According to the agency, this is the first system designed to automatically provide a direct warning to pilots and vehicle operators about potential runway conflicts."
Read the Article - Click HERE
Runway Status Lights Now Fully Operational
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that Runway S</status Lights (RWSL), the first technology to provide direct warning to pilots about potential runway conflicts, is now operational at all 20 sites approved to receive the ground-breaking technology.
A report on the effectiveness of RWSL at the 15 airports where it was operational in 2017 found an overall 52% reduction in the average runway incursion rate, with 15,484 potential saves by the technology.
The FAA developed RWSL technology to increase situational awareness for flight crews and airport vehicle drivers, providing an added layer of runway safety. The technology alerts pilots and vehicle operators to stop when runways and taxiways are not safe to enter, cross or begin takeoff. Red lights embedded in the pavement illuminate when the presence of other traffic creates a potential conflict. RWSL uses the airport’s surface surveillance system to determine the location of aircraft and vehicles. The lights are fully automated, requiring no input from air traffic controllers.
Pilots and ground vehicle operators must still receive clearances from controllers for any operation on runways or taxiways.
The RWSL system is comprised of two types of lights. Runway Entrance Lights (REL) are deployed at taxiway and runway crossings and illuminate if it is unsafe to enter or cross a runway. Takeoff Hold Lights (THL) are deployed in the runway by the departure hold zone and illuminate when there is an aircraft in position for departure and the runway is occupied by another aircraft or vehicle and is unsafe for takeoff.
RWSLs are now operational at the following airports:
Baltimore-Washington International Airport
Boston Logan International Airport
Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport
Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
LaGuardia International Airport
Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport
Orlando International Airport
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
San Diego International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport
Runway Safety Tips – Winter Ops
Notice Number: NOTC9809
Winter is coming. Following these tips may SPARE you from dangerous runway incursions in the months ahead:
SPEED - When taxiing, keep it slow. If you weren’t able to walk steadily on the ice-coated surfaces leading out to your parking space, it is entirely likely that your 1,200-pound Piper Cub won’t fare much better. Don’t undo all the work you did to clean the aircraft off. Taxi slowly to avoid throwing up snow and slush into the wheel wells and onto aircraft surfaces. Taking it slow is also safer, providing more response time in case the tires decide to slide on an icy patch.
PURPOSE - Ensure you have a current airport diagram to reference prior to taxi. We tend to become complacent, not realizing we are navigating from habit until a geographical reference is moved, removed, or snow covered along our route. Plan your route ahead of time, knowing where the runway safety areas are. Don’t be the cause of a runway incursion because you weren’t aware of a hold sign or marking, or were taxiing too fast to stop. Runway safety happens on purpose because of your planning and airmanship.
AERODYNAMICS - Since braking is not effective on a wet or icy runway, take advantage of aerodynamic braking by holding the nose up as long as possible. Aircraft control can only be maintained if the main wheels are rolling. Any braking should be applied gently and evenly using care not to lock up the wheels. When the airplane slows down, control effectiveness from the rudder and ailerons are lost. The airplane does what comes naturally — it weathervanes into the wind. If there is ice, the amount of wind the airplane can tolerate drops dramatically. Land into the wind on icy surfaces, or divert to a less contaminated runway or one with less of a crosswind.
RUNWAY - GA wrong runway approaches and landings continue to occur. Offset, parallel runways continue to challenge GA pilots. Be aware that you may be looking at a dominate runway, not the one that you were cleared for. Snow covered terrain may add to the difficulty. Understand your clearance and reference the airport diagram. If you’re not 100% sure, go around.
EQUIPMENT - Remove the airplane’s wheelpants if equipped. Slush and ice can collect inside the wheel pant and freeze the brakes to the rotors making for an interesting landing with wheels that won’t spin. Removal of the wheelpants will also allow you a clearer view to inspect tire condition and the possibility of leaking fluid.
Have SPARE time this winter? Be sure to check out the Runway Safety Simulator for regular updates. Click Here or go to www.runwaysafetysimulator.com.
Fly Safe (and stay warm!),
Commercial Operations Branch - firstname.lastname@example.org - 609-485-9500
AC 150/5345-53D - Airport Lighting Equipment Certification Program
This AC describes the Airport Lighting Equipment Certification Program (ALECP). It provides information on how an organization can get Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) acceptance as a third-party certification body (third-party certifier) and how manufacturers may get equipment qualified under the program. It includes a list of the equipment that is certified under the program. This AC does not impose requirements or mandate participation in the ALECP by any party. This revision clarifies the criteria that FAA will use to determine whether a certification body qualifies for participation and how equipment may be qualified. Read the AC HERE
Tower intervened to stop Transavia 737 taxiway take-off
18 September, 2019 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: David Kaminski-Morrow London
Dutch investigators have disclosed that a Transavia Boeing 737-800 attempted to depart from a taxiway at Amsterdam Schiphol before tower controllers intervened and ordered the jet to abort.
Read This Story by Clicking Here
FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education
Runway Safety through Stabilized Approaches
Notice Number: NOTC9729
Maintain a Stabilized Approach! Have you heard these words before? It’s a critical, lifesaving way to approach every flight.
There are several criteria, but generally, a pilot is flying a stabilized approach when he or she establishes and maintains a constant angle glidepath towards a predetermined point on the landing runway. Every runway is unique, but a commonly referenced glidepath follows the “3:1” principle. That is, for every 3 nautical miles flown over the ground, you should descend 1,000 feet. This simulates a standard 3-degree glideslope. Data shows that the further out from the runway threshold you establish a stabilized approach, the lower your risk of loss of control, wrong surface landings, or runway excursions.
Tips for Staying Stable:
If it’s not right, GO-AROUND! Execute a timely go-around decision when a stabilized approach cannot be made, or for any other condition that may result in an unsafe approach or landing.
The further from the runway that you establish a “3:1” flight path profile, the greater your probability of successfully flying a stable approach.
NOTE: Every runway is unique and the published glidepath should be flown when available.
A method to estimate the appropriate descent rate in feet/minute to maintain a 3-degree glidepath is to multiply the groundspeed in knots by 5.
When available, use a visual approach system such as a VASI or PAPI, or precision instrument approach to help maintain glidepath.
Increase your knowledge on stabilized approaches. Some resources include:
The GAJSC website (www.gajsc.org/loss-of-control)
AC 91-79A (www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/advisory_circulars)
FAA Commercial Operations Branch
07/30/2019 June 2019 Addendum to AC 150/5345-53D, Airport Lighting Equipment Certification Program - See it Here
07/30/2019 Errata for AC 150/5300-13A, Airport Design See it Here
Runway Safety Tips for Construction Season
Notice Number: NOTC9621
Winter is over, and that means construction season is upon us all! Airport construction projects aim to make enhancements to infrastructure and safety, but they come with their own risks. Use these resources in your flight planning, training, and airfield operations to help increase your surface safety:
Graphical Airport Construction Notice Diagrams - Now available in ForeFlight!
Provides a graphical representation of construction NOTAMS.
Available at www.faa.gov. Click here!
Also available with NOTAMS at PilotWeb. Click here!
Then click on the right “Aeronautical Information” bar, and from the dropdown “Construction Notices”.
FAA Runway and Taxiway Construction Website
Contains checklists, articles, and other resources for all airport operators and users.
Available at www.faa.gov. Click here!
FAA TV: Orange is the New Black and Yellow
Short video to increase your awareness of construction signs and markings.
Available at www.faa.gov/tv/. Click here!
Remember that orange signs around the airfield this season indicate construction hazards. Paying attention to NOTAMS, using the Graphical Construction Notice Diagrams, and working carefully with air traffic controllers are just a few ways you can enhance safety at our airports.
July 11 2019 - FAA Recommends Upping Braking Performance Margins by Gordon Gilbert in AINonline - "Recent data indicates that applying a 15 percent safety margin to calculate wet runway stopping distance, as recommended by previous guidance, may be inadequate in certain conditions to prevent a runway excursion, according to a new safety alert for pilots (SAFO 19003). This new alert replaces the guidance in previous SAFO 15009."
Read the Entire Article by Clicking Here
07/08/2019 SAFO 18003, Turbojet Braking Performance on Wet Runways, is now published. This SAFO cancels and replaces SAFO 15009 and warns airplane operators and pilots that the advisory data for wet runway landings may not provide a safe stopping margin especially in conditions of Moderate or Heavy Rain. You can view the SAFO (Safety Alert for Operators) Here
7/01/2019 FAA Highlights Graphical Airport Construction Diagrams Now Available in ForeFlight - An NBAA article that illustrates this new available source of information - You can view the NBAA article Here. Thank you Alex Gertsen and NBAA for your initiative with FAA on this important advancement.
7/01/2019 Sent to SCAUWG by a senior member: "For those of you that do not use Foreflight (and there are a number of us), here's a link to the FAA Construction Sight << https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/aero_data/Apt_Constr_Notices/" To Visit that reference Click Here
Continuing: "These airports are mostly "majors"; and I could only identify four in the Southwest ... Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson, and McCarran (Las Vegas). Still, if you're traveling this summer and expect to visit a major city/airport ... this is information worth having."