FAA Will Invest $11 Million to Tackle Issues of Runway Incursions

The FAA has announced that it will fund runway incursion mitigation projects, committing to an investment of $11 million from the agency’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

The agency defines runway incursions as, “Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take off of aircraft.”

A detailed 24-page report published by the FAA, entitled Runway Incursion Avoidance explains the issues in-depth, and identifies points of weakness and necessary corrective actions.

The FAA’s safety statistics report a total of 1353 runway incursions so far this year. 

In a 2007 White Paper, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) called attention to the increased risks of runway incursions, as U.S. air travel increases.

“Approximately one runway incursion occurs each day in the United States, and the potential for a catastrophic accident is ‘unacceptable, according to the FAA’s risk/severity matrix. The likelihood for runway incursions grows exponentially as a function of air traffic growth, which is on the increase in the United States,” the report states.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has also raised concerns on this issue and prepared a library of animations of incidents which illustrate the serious need for system-wide improvements.

“In a busy runway environment, simple misperceptions can have potentially devastating consequences.”–AOPA

In partnership with airport sponsors, the agency has identified several airports which will receive funds this year. Funded airport sponsors will study alternatives to reduce the number of runway incursions at their airports, or specifically address unclear taxiway markings, lighting or signage, or issues with taxiway layouts.

“These grant awards are in keeping with the FAA’s risk-based decision-making principles to proactively address safety risks,” the FAA states.

The airports receiving grants follow, from the FAA’s announcement:

  • Waco Regional Airport in Texas will receive $6.4 million to realign a taxiway which will bring the taxiway up to FAA standards and reduce incursions at the airport.
  • A $600,000 grant for Midway International Airport will install runway guard lights at a runway and taxiway intersection to reduce risk and to meet FAA design standards.
  • A grant for $16,000 will be awarded to Philadelphia International Airport to design the taxiway modifications needed to meet FAA design standard and reduce runway incursion risk factors.
  • Cleveland International Airport will receive $2,332,214 million to reconfigure several taxiways to eliminate the risk of incursions.

Runway Incursion Mitigation studies will be funded at other airports. “The amount varies based on the size of the airport and the complexity of the risk factors,” the FAA states.

  • Dallas Addison Airport in Texas, $43,614
  • Lone Star Executive Airport in Texas, $19,693
  • Scholes International Airport in Texas, $11,693
  • San Jose International Airport in California, $1,498,141

Featured Image: Screengrab from FAA Appendix I FAA PHAK Study of Runway Incursions

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