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Runway incursion

Page history last edited by Béatrice H. Alves 6 years, 7 months ago


Runway incursion safety according to FAA


Definitions and Actions

A Category A runway incursion is a serious incident in which a collision is narrowly avoided. A Category B runway incursion is an incident in which separation decreases and there is a significant potential for collision, which may result in a time-critical corrective/evasive response to avoid a collision. 


Pilot Actions:

• Actively listen to Air Traffic Control (ATC);

• Maintain high awareness of runway hold lines;

• Remain clear of the runway hold lines unless you are certain you have received a clearance to cross the runway, line up and wait (LUAW), or takeoff;

• Ensure there is no aircraft that could overfly your aircraft and that the runway is completely clear before entering it for takeoff; and

• After receiving a LUAW clearance, expect a communication from ATC within 90 seconds.

Read more about it here


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Avianca Brazil A320 and Gol B738 at Salvador, go arounds due to passenger runway incursion


An Avianca Brazil Airbus A320-200, registration PR-AVQ performing flight O6-6315 from Petrolina,PE to Salvador,BA (Brazil), was on final approach to Salvador's runway 10 descending through about 700 feet AGL when two pedestrians walked onto the runway prompting the crew to initiate a go around.

A Gol Transportes Aereas Boeing 737-800, registration PR-GUA performing flight G3-1697 from Recife,PE to Salvador,BA (Brazil), was on final approach behind the Avianca A320 and needed to go around from about 800 feet about 2 minutes later, too, when the pedestrians were still not clear of the runway.

Both aircraft positioned for another approach and landed safely about 15 minutes after aborting their first approaches.

Read more about it on Aviation Herald


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Close Call at JFK (w/ audio)

June 24, 2011

The Close Call On 22R At JFK  from AVweb

By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor



Two loaded airliners nearly collided on Runway 22R at JFK on June 20 and while an accident did not take place, the event produced more than just some interesting audio. The incident involved a loaded Egyptair Boeing 777-300 fueled for Cairo and a Munich-bound Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 with 286 on board. When the Egyptair jet missed its turn, the two jets were rolling toward each other on the active runway as the Lufthansa accelerated for takeoff. Audio of the event includes comments from pilots of nearby aircraft. They include, "Yeah. That was quite a show ... thought it was going to be a short career."


The German jet was on the runway accelerating for takeoff when the Egyptian crew missed their taxiway and turned onto the runway ahead of the German airliner. Controllers immediately told the Lufthansa Airbus to "cancel" the takeoff, which called on the jet's pilots to stop the jet, and its 10 hours of fuel, as quickly as possible. Controllers explain by saying, "There's a ... as you see what's going on. No need to speak about it on frequency." The jet did successfully stop, and another voice on frequency is heard saying, "... those two were comin' together." Once secure, the Lufthansa pilots expressed concern that "maybe we have hot brakes now, so, maybe we take a minute... ." The German plane was allowed to taxi off the runway at its discretion. Its brakes were inspected to determine if they had overheated or suffered other damage and the aircraft departed an hour and a half later. The Egyptair jet, which had been taxiing for departure when it missed its turn, was released about an hour after the event. Controllers asked the crew to call to report a "possible pilot deviation" upon landing in Cairo, and provided a phone number.


Here's the audio, as captured by LiveATC.net:


Click here for the MP3 file.

or watch TV news


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Barcelona, go around

Read about it on the Aviation Herald

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Close call on 13R

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Runway incursion in Rhode Island with actual recording


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Dog on the Runway

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Was that for us?


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Midway Controller Clears 737 Into Path Of Learjet (Audio)

File Size 2.1 MB / Running Time 2:14

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS


Audio has been released of an event that took place at Chicago Midway Airport and appears to show that Midway tower controllers cleared a Southwest 737 to cross a runway into the path of a jet that was taking off. The event involved Southwest Flight 844, a Boeing 737, and a Learjet. Together, the two aircraft carried 85 people. According to the NTSB, "Air traffic control did not cancel the takeoff clearance of the (Learjet) nor direct the (Southwest plane) to hold short of Runway 31R," the Washington Post reported. As the Southwest jet approached the intersection, its crew spotted the Lear on its departure roll. The Southwest crew stopped short and "the thing went right over our head." The NTSB calculated separation at 287 feet with the Lear passing 62 feet overhead. The Southwest crew then called the tower and may have gotten a response they were not expecting.


Click here to listen. (2.1 MB, 2:14)



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Confused on runway




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Italy - October 08 2001
118 Killed as Jetliner, Business jet Collide on Italy Runway

MILAN, Italy (AP)- “An SAS airliner taking off for Denmark hit a private jet that wandered across the runway, then careened into an airport building in a fiery crash that killed all 114 people on both planes and four people on the ground Monday. It was Italy's worst aviation disaster.”

Detailed investigations  have identified three major areas contributing to runway incursions¹:


        Pilot/controller communication is paramount to airport surface operations. All instructions must be fully understood, particularly during high workload or when the frequency is busy. It is mandatory to read back runway “hold short” instructions verbatim. For effective communications, clear and concise is the name of the game.
        Airport knowledge is very important. If you frequent a particular airport, you probably know your way around pretty well. However, flying into an unfamiliar airport can pose many challenges. Having an airport diagram and asking ATC for “progressive taxi” can be a big help at an unfamiliar airport! I can say for a fact that taxiing around a large, unfamiliar airport at night (e.g.; Kennedy) can be the most complex part of our entire flight!
        Cockpit procedures and/or Standard Operating Procedures during taxi are also very important. The “sterile cockpit” rule is in effect during all taxi operations. There is no place for non-essential chatter while maintaining vigilance and running checklists during the taxi. Familiarity with light gun signals is essential should you lose radio contact with ground control. As a general rule, one pilot must always have his head outside to scan for other traffic and to prevent incursions. The other pilot may be performing checklists, talking on the radio, and doing last minute paperwork.

Read much more about runway incursions here.


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Cargolux B744 at Luxembourg on Jan 21st 2010, touched van on runway during landing

By Simon Hradecky, created Thursday, Jan 21st 2010 21:15Z, last updated Wednesday, Feb 24th 2010 21:12Z
The roof of the van (Photo: ChristiaanJ)
The roof of the van (Photo: ChristiaanJ
A Cargolux Boeing 747-400 freighter, registration LX-OCV performing flight CV-7933 from Barcelona,SP (Spain) to Luxembourg (Luxembourg) with 3 crew, was cleared to land on Luxembourg's runway 24 in low visibility due to fog (RVR 350 meters), when one of the tyres impacted the roof of a van parked on the runway at 12:53L (11:53Z). The airplane landed safely, the driver of the van escaped with just a shock, the van received substantial damage, the airplane suffered damage to the tyre.

Luxembourg's Ministry of Transport reported, that the van had entered the runway to perform maintenance work at the runway ground lighting. Three investigations have been initiated. The Ministry did not tell, whether the van had been cleared to enter the runway.


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Takeoff clearance despite vehicle on runway

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registration EI-EBE performing flight FR-9844 from Cork to Dublin (Ireland) with 164 passengers and 6 crew, was cleared for takeoff from Cork's runway 17. When the aircraft began its takeoff roll, a police car holding on runway 17 short of runway 07/25 recognized the conflict and accelerated to vacate runway 17 onto runway 07/25. While the Boeing accelerated through 90 knots the Ryanair crew spotted the car already disappearing onto runway 07/25 and clear of runway 17, so that they continued the takeoff. The Boeing reached Dublin for a safe landing.

The Irish AAIU have released their final report concluding the probable cause was: READ MORE


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Runway Safety Training - Simulation



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Aer Lingus A330 and US Air B737 (animation)


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The Tenerife Disaster (video + text)

On the importance of the Language Proficiency Requirements


Probable cause

The investigation concluded that the fundamental cause of the accident was that the KLM captain took off without takeoff clearance. The investigators suggested the reason for his mistake might have been a desire to leave as soon as possible in order to comply with KLM's duty-time regulations, and before the weather deteriorated further.

Other major factors contributing to the accident were:

  • The sudden fog greatly limited visibility. The control tower and the crews of both planes were unable to see each other.
  • Simultaneous radio transmissions, with the result that neither message could be heard.

The following factors were considered contributing but not critical:

  • Use of ambiguous non-standard phrases by the KLM co-pilot ("We're at take off") and the Tenerife control tower ("OK").
  • Pan Am mistakenly continued to exit C-4 instead of exiting at C-3 as directed.
  • The airport was (due to rerouting from the bomb threat) forced to accommodate a great number of large aircraft, resulting in disruption of the normal use of taxiways.[11]

Dutch response

The Dutch authorities were reluctant to accept the Spanish report blaming the KLM captain for the accident. The Netherlands Department of Civil Aviation published a response that, whilst accepting that the KLM aircraft had taken off "prematurely", argued that he alone should not be blamed for the "mutual misunderstanding" that occurred between the controller and the KLM crew, and that limitations of using radio as a means of communication should have been given greater consideration.

In particular, the Dutch response pointed out that....

Read more



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Runway Incursion (video)

Don't worry!  Would you worry?



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Direct warnings to pilots seen as key to eliminating incursions (text)

Thursday December 3, 2009

Aviation safety experts tout a number of measures taken in recent years that have helped to mitigate the risk of runway incursions--better signage and lighting, improved training and ATC alerting systems such as AMASS--but say developing and deploying technology that enables pilots to receive direct warnings is critical if the ever-present danger of airfield collisions is to be eliminated.

"If we're trying to prevent runway incursions by relying on something outside the cockpit, we're not going to achieve what we want to," US National Transportation Safety Board Member Robert Sumwalt said this week at the FAA International Runway Safety Summit in Washington (ATWOnline, Dec. 2) "We need to put something in the cockpit."

NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman noted that AMASS, which tracks runway surface and airborne movements on a 1-sec. update cycle to warn controllers of potential incursions, requires a controller to receive an alert and then relay a warning to pilots, a process that can take too long if aircraft are moving toward one another at high speeds.

Sumwalt claimed NTSB studies have indicated that "43% of runway incursions could be eliminated with a [GPS-enabled] cockpit moving map with own ship position." FAA has said it is earmarking $5 million to provide funding assistance to airlines that agree to equip cockpits with EFBs that include moving map displays. Hersman said that while the program is "commendable," it is voluntary and the level of funding is relatively low. "As a result, the program is not likely to result in widespread adoption of moving map technology," she commented.

Jern Dunn, group customer account manager for the UK's National Air Traffic Services, agreed that "the final difference [in reducing incursions] will be made with the final piece of technology. . .a warning signal needs to go [directly] to the pilot."

"There's not any one magic bullet" to eliminate incursions, Sumwalt explained. "We need to have a number of layers of defense to increase runway safety. . .Cockpit technology is one very important layer of defense" and has been the "final layer" in significantly mitigating other aviation safety risks, he said, citing the example of TCAS immediately alerting pilots to potential midair collisions.

by Aaron Karp

See the original on ATW Daily News


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NTSB_logoWashington, DC - "In an address to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) in Orlando today, NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman lauded controllers for their role in keeping the number of runway incursions low while challenging the Federal Aviation Administration to hasten the pace of its efforts to improve runway safety. Attributing the decline in runway related incidents and accidents in part to "robust procedures, safe designs, and well-trained and alert controllers and pilots," Hersman said that "we still have a lot of work to do," and that the FAA needs to move more aggressively to lower the risk of runway accidents.

Hersman chaired the NTSB's February meeting in which runway safety was again voted onto its Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements where it has been since its inception in 1990. The Safety Board's recommendations to the FAA includes providing immediate warnings of probable collisions and incursions directly to flight crews in the cockpit; requiring specific ATC clearance for each runway crossing; requiring operators to install cockpit moving map displays or an automatic system that alerts pilots when a takeoff is attempted on a taxiway or a runway other than the one intended; and requiring a landing distance assessment with an adequate safety margin for every landing.

Taxiway_M.jpgCiting an ongoing investigation of an incident in which a 767 landed on a taxiway in Atlanta in October, Hersman said that the NTSB took a strong interest in the event "because we want to know what led a professional flight crew to mistake a taxiway for a runway, whether the controllers could have detected the misaligned final approach to landing and intervened, and whether there are technological tools that can be used to prevent such incidents from ever occurring in the first place." Although no one was injured in the incident, Hersman said that "if this event had resulted in a fatal collision, there would be - far and wide - immediate and understandable calls for changes."

Debbie_Hersman-144x180.jpgHersman also cited human fatigue as an area that the Safety Board has become particularly focused on, saying that "We are seeing fatigue as a causal or contributing factor in numerous accidents across all transportation modes." The NTSB has made recommendations to the FAA to set working hour limits for flight crews, aviation mechanics, and air traffic controllers, and has asked the FAA develop a fatigue awareness and countermeasures training program for controllers and those who schedule them for duty. Recently, NATCA and the FAA established a working group to collaboratively address the human fatigue issues that the NTSB has identified. Hersman noted the significance of this positive step by the leadership of both organizations and called it a very encouraging development.

Concluding with an invitation for air traffic controllers to participate in a three-day forum on pilot and controller excellence that the NTSB will be holding in Washington in May, Hersman emphasized the value of learning from the numerous examples of superior job performance by controllers. "Through our work we are very good at finding out what went wrong, but frankly, it is just as important to know what is going right, because we want to replicate that throughout the entire national airspace system," she said."

The complete text of Chairman Hersman's speech may be obtained on the NTSB website.

Fly Smart,


Taken from Signal Charlie


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Wildlife on Runways

Turtles on JFK runway cause flight delays

from   Turtles on JFK runway cause flight delays


Get the shell out of the way!


Sex-crazed turtles shut down a runway at Kennedy Airport this morning as they crawled across the tarmac heading for their seasonal breeding grounds.

Runway 4L was shut down starting about 9:30 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Port Authority workers were still working an hour later to move the slowpokes to safer ground.

Some of the turtles that stopped traffic on one of JFK's runways today.


Some of the turtles that stopped traffic on one of JFK's runways today.



 "We may have a few delays, but nothing significant," said FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac.

JetBlue reported the turtle incursion on Twitter around 9:40 a.m.

"Running over turtles is not healthy for them nor is it good for our tires," the airline said.

“Be advised 30 feet into the takeoff roll, left side of the centerline, there’s another turtle,” called the pilot of American Airlines Flight 1009, a Boeing 767 that had just taken off for the Dominican Republic.

“There’s another one on the runway?” asked the controller.

“Uh, well he was there,” the pilot said as the plane climbed into the air.

Turtles also delayed several flights earlier this week.

The turtle invasion is an annual event at Kennedy. They're in the middle of their spawning season, when the females crawl out of Jamaica Bay onto the runway in search of higher ground to lay their eggs.

"The sandy spot on the other side of Runway 4L is ideal for egg laying," PA spokesman John Kelly said. "It is a naturally provided turtle maternity ward. When your airport is virtually surrounded by water, your neighbors sometimes come in the hard shell variety."

In July 2009, a runway at JFK was shut down briefly after at least 78 turtles emerged from nearby Jamaica Bay and crawled onto the tarmac.

Ground crews eventually rounded up the reptiles and deposited them back in the water, but not before the incident disrupted JFK's flight schedule and contributed to delays that reached nearly two hours.



Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/turtles_on_jfk_runway_cause_flight_mfp83jCiGKRhGH6O9LasVM#ixzz1Wcr9dUOU



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Flamingo, turtles and others

Wildlife Hazards at Airports

image: privatefly
image: privatefly

Reported in The Sun A flamingo caused havoc at Manchester airport last week when a runway had to be shut down while he was shooed away. Here are the top ten animal airport interruptions from privatefly.com
1. Migrating diamondback turtles caused delays during the rush-hour at JFK International in New York.

image: privatefly
image: privatefly

2. Two stowaway frogs grounded an airliner for an hour at Cardiff. It is thought the tree frogs jumped into the aircraft while it was loaded in Cuba for a flight to Britain.
3. Otters caused an 80-minute delay for passengers aboard a flight from Texas. They were supposed to be in cages in the cargo hold but a couple escaped and ran down the gangplank on to the runway.
4. In 2008 a jet was denied landing permission in Florida due to catfish WALKING on the runway. Marooned by high water from a tropical storm, the four fish were joined by two tortoises, a blue indigo snake and an alligator.
5. A swarm of bees affected operations and delayed flights in Manila. Airport workers were stung and the bees prevented controllers from attaching the movable walkways to arriving aircraft.
6. Hares played havoc with the radar systems at the Milan airport in June 2007 and continue to prove a nuisance - also disrupting takeoffs and landings. This has led to a twice-yearly event where volunteers attempt to scare off the animals by blowing whistles and waving their arms.
7. A Qantas airplane missed two scheduled flights in April 2009 when four baby pythons were unaccounted for, following a flight from Alice Springs to Melbourne, Australia. The snakes were being transported in the plane's cargo hold and were thought to be safely packed inside a bag that was secured in a foam box. The plane was fumigated and returned to service, but the snakes were never found.
8. "We're sorry for the delay, but we're having some problems loading the cheetah. We have to do it very carefully". This is what a captain told his passengers in Melbourne in order to explain a 50 minute delay in December 2010.
9. In March 2011, authorities reported a loose coyote on the runway in Atlanta's international airport. It delayed flights for a few minutes until ground crews chased it away.
10. Stray animals are a regular nuisance at airports in India. Within just three months in 2009, 200 dogs were captured and relocated from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. The airport - like others across India - is experienced at dealing with such incidents; other regular animal visitors include jackals, snakes, monkeys and birds.

FMI: Privatefly

Editor: Heard an ATIS at Camp Pendleton, CA once, "Coyotes and birds on the runway..." The score ended up coyotes 1, pigeons 0.
Fly Smart,Kent

Taken from Signal Charlie

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Safer Flights, but Risk Lurks on the Runway


Monica Almeida/The New York Times




A Delta Air Lines plane at the Los Angeles Airport, where the F.A.A. is testing a system of lights embedded in the airfield that warn pilots when a runway is in use.



Southwest Airways Flight 844 from Minneapolis had just landed at Chicago’s Midway International Airport last December and was about to cross a runway on its way to the terminal when the co-pilot noticed a business jet barreling toward him. He shouted for the captain to stop. The plane, carrying 74 passengers, screeched to a halt just short of the runway as the smaller jet crossed before their eyes.


Enlarge This Image

Monica Almeida/The New York Times

A service road at the Los Angeles Airport. Airplanes are not the only things trying to get from place to place on the tarmac.


Seconds later, the Southwest pilot called the control tower. “I want you to acknowledge you cleared us on a runway while a plane was taking off,” he said. “We had to hit the brakes and the thing went right over our head.”

Though most passengers may not be aware of the hazards on the ground, such near misses are not isolated events. Since 2008, there have been about three incidents a day in which a plane or a vehicle gets on an active runway by mistake, an average of 1,000 a year. That number has held steady for the last four years while the total number of flights has declined.

In a small number of these cases, a catastrophic collision is narrowly avoided — sometimes only through sheer luck.

The issue has festered even as regulators and the airline industry have made significant gains in reducing other major aviation hazards, especially those in flight. Advances in navigation technology in recent decades, for instance, have sharply reduced midair collisions and crashes into mountains and other obstacles, two of the most common causes of accidents.

But a similar urgency to address runway safety has lagged, safety experts said. Only in the last year have all 35 major airports installed new ground radars that provide air-traffic controllers a better view of the runways, and a handful of airports are now testing a new system of warning lights on runways.

“These incidents remind us how vulnerable we are when procedures or people fail,” said Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, which has put runway safety on its top 10 list of priorities since 1990.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the number of runway incidents that it classifies as most severe — in which a collision is narrowly avoided — has dropped in the last decade. In 2000, there were 67 serious incidents, only half involving a commercial aircraft, compared with just 12 in 2011.

Still, the Government Accountability Office, an auditing arm of Congress, said there were 18 incidents per million flights in 2010, up from 11 per million in 2004. The safety board said about a dozen incidents are serious enough to warrant an investigation each year.

Airports, particularly major hubs, are busy places that can handle more than a hundred flights an hour, while thousands of fuel trucks, bag tugs, catering trucks and many other vehicles crisscross the airfield.

Most incidents involve jets, but there have also been cases where fire trucks, helicopters, animal control vehicles, police cars and even pedestrians, cross runways by mistake in recent years. In one instance, a Boeing 767 landing at Honolulu International Airport in 2009 was forced to slam on the brakes to avoid striking an F-15 fighter jet that had stopped on the runway. The pilot realized there was an obstacle only when he saw the F-15’s tailpipes and stopped 200 feet from the fighter.

In 65 percent of cases, pilots are blamed, according to the F.A.A. In a few extreme cases, pilots have landed on a taxiway. In 2009, for instance, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 coming from Rio de Janeiro mistook a taxiway for a runway at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Hazards on runways are likely to increase with the expansion of air traffic in coming decades, said James M. Burin, the director of technical programs at the Flight Safety Foundation, an aviation consulting firm. “Congestion is really starting to become an issue, and with that, the risks of planes’ colliding with each other,” Mr. Burin said.

A runway incursion in 1977 caused the deadliest accident in aviation history, when two Boeing 747s — a PanAm flight and a Royal Dutch KLM flight — collided on a runway at Tenerife Airport in the Canary Islands, killing 583 people. In 1991, a US Airways Boeing 737 landing at Los Angeles International Airport collided with a commuter jet that was about to take off. Thirty-four people died.

The last fatal accident involving a commercial aircraft and a runway incursion in the United States occurred in 1996, in Quincy, Ill., when a commuter plane and a private plane collided at crisscrossing runways, killing 14 people.

After a series of close calls, the biggest pilot union, the Air Line Pilots Association, warned in 2007 that “the risk of a runway incursion event that could kill hundreds of people in a single accident is real and growing larger.”

That year, the F.A.A. bolstered its runway safety program. It required airports to install more explicit signs to better mark runways and taxiways, and expanded the use of ground radar systems, called ASDE-X. These give air traffic controllers a real-time picture of where airplanes are on the airfield and an alarm in the event of a potential problem.

Two years ago, the F.A.A. changed its runway procedures, requiring pilots cleared to proceed on taxiways to also get explicit approval from the tower before crossing a runway.

The F.A.A. is also testing a new system at Los Angeles International Airport and a handful of other airports called Runway Status Lights, which uses red warning lights embedded in runways and taxiways that automatically turn on when a runway is being used. The F.A.A. aims to have the system at 23 airports by 2016.

The Transportation Department’s inspector general also questioned the F.A.A.’s reporting of incidents, describing the rating process in a July 2010 review as “inconsistent, subjective, and potentially susceptible to bias, making the accuracy of year-to-year comparisons of serious accidents questionable.”

In the case of the Southwest flight at Midway last December, because the F.A.A. determined that the Southwest plane had “ample time” to stop, the incident was classified as a category C, less serious than a category A, defined as “an incident where a collision was narrowly avoided,” or B, “an incident in which separation decreases and there is significant potential for collision.”

Read the complete article and access a few links on The New York Times


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