ATM Modernization

Eurocontrol Releases New Version of Runway Incursion Prevention Plan

By S.L. Fuller | November 20, 2017
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Within Version 3.0 of the European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Incursions is a recommendation that encourages Eurocontrol member states to move toward displaying more information to pilots.

Aligning with the ICAO Global Runway Safety Symposium, occurring in Lima, Peru, until Wednesday, Eurocontrol announced its updated plan Monday. The organization said it includes modifications to some existing recommendations to “re-focus” ongoing actions already being taken. Specifically, parts of the updated plan encourage the industry to evaluate the effectiveness of systemic runway incursion risk reduction activities associated with safety management systems and aerodrome local runway safety teams.

“Despite widespread implementation of the recommendations contained in the previous versions of the plan, the number of runway incursions affecting European and global airports remains a significant safety concern,” Eurocontrol said.

Version 3.0 also includes new recommendations for new measures to enhance the safety of airside drivers who need to access runways. Air traffic controllers should employ “heads up” scanning, Eurocontrol said, so that they can maintain a continuous watch of operations. Other recommendations encourage authorities to establish national runway safety teams. As for displaying information to pilots, Eurocontrol said the industry should move toward the graphical display of safety critical information to improve situational awareness.

Network manager operational safety studies provided Eurocontrol with lessons learned to add into the new version. That guidance has influenced areas including sudden high-energy runway conflicts, air traffic controllers’ ability to detect occupied runways and aircraft landing without an ATC clearance. Like other versions, the newest one emphasizes the consistent application of ICAO provisions, Eurocontrol said. It also takes into consideration EASA rules and guidance concerning runway incursion prevention.

“Implementation is the key to the success of any plan,” said Tony Licu, head of safety unit for EUROCONTROL. “If we are to accommodate the anticipated growth in aircraft, particularly at our airports, which in many cases are already capacity constrained, then we must continue to make improvements to the safety of our runways. Collective implementation of the recommendations in [version 3.0] provides us with the means to do this, and I would encourage all stakeholders to review the updated plan and implement the recommendations as far as practicable according to local conditions and circumstances.”

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