In a new bid to reduce runway excursions, Eurocontrol published an action plan designed to help chip away at the annual rate of incidents, which ICAO says has not changed in 20 years. The plan is based on input from nearly every potential stakeholder, including airport operators, air navigation service providers, aircraft operators, aircraft manufacturers, professional associations and government safety authorities. Data was also gathered from more than 1,000 accident and incident reports from around the world.
One of the primary recommendations in the plan includes establishing local runway safety teams.
Despite a host of emerging aviation safety technologies, the causes of most runway excursions are not new. For example, wet and contaminated runways in combination with gusts or strong cross or tailwinds increase the risk of a runway excursion. Another factor can be landing long and or late, or ineffective deployment of braking devices.
In the cases of both landing and takeoff excursions, the primary opportunity to prevent a runway excursion lies in the flight crew’s decision to abort an approach and go around or, once at or approaching V1, continue a takeoff.