Runway Incursions in Aviation

Runway Incursions

International civil aviation organization defines a runway incursion as any occurrence at an aerodome that results to the incorrect presence of an aircraft, person or vehicle on the surface protected and designated for aircraft landing and takeoff. As a result of runway incursions, many safety management challenges arise interfering with smooth airport operations. Some of the issues of runway incursions include

  • Incorrect entry of vehicles or aircrafts onto the runway or protected area contrary to ATC clearance
  • A vacating aircraft or vehicle in an incorrect manner onto the protected area
  • Inaccurate runway crossing of a vehicle or aircraft
  • The presence of an airport vehicle or pedestrian on the runway
  • No spacing or wrong spacing between successive arrival and departure time of the aircraft
  • Landing or taking off without a clearance from the ATC

ATCO-Induces Situation

Besides the above stated scenarios, there are typical scenarios that result to runway incursions. ATCO-Induces situation for instance is a case whereby the controller fails to ensure sufficient spacing between two successive landing aircrafts causing infringement of the applicable runway space use. The preceding departing or succeeding landing aircraft time can also interfere with smooth operations. In another instance, flight crew induced situation whereby a plane lands in an unfamiliar airport making the flight crew disoriented as they exit the runway. Vehicle driver-induced situation can result from inappropriate training or lack of formal runway access approval or misinterpretation of the runway leading to incorrect runway position.

Safety Management Challenges

Some of the safety management challenges in mitigating these incursions are due to human error due to mistakes or violations. As a result training and ensuring that all users and pedestrians have knowledge on where to be and when is crucial. By carrying out simple exercises like conditional clearance, chances of errors are reduced asserts. Proper communication is imperative to avoid breakdown between air traffic controllers, pilots, pedestrians and vehicles entering and exiting the airport.

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