The FAA recorded 1,150 runway incursions in the 12-month period ending September 30 last year across the U.S., and 18 of them were classified as “A” and “B,” the most serious of the four incursion categories. Some 772 of those incursions were pilot-induced.
Over the past two years, there were 11 incursions at Quad City International Airport (KMLI) in Moline Ill., including seven since the beginning of this year. Half of those incursions have been blamed on pilots who had just landed. Rather than exiting on the taxiways after landing, many aircraft have been turning on to another active runway by mistake. All three of Moline’s runways meet in the same near mid-field location, a configuration that NBAA representative Bob Quinn believes might play a role in the incursion rise. The FAA has already designated that center-field intersection as an airport “hotspot” in operational terms.
“The runways all meet at a point that would appear to be a convenient turnoff for most landing aircraft,” said Quinn. “While pilots and controllers do use intersecting runways for exiting active runways, this procedure demands active participation by the controllers and pilots involved.”
A category “A” incursion means a ground collision was narrowly avoided, while a category “B” translates into a loss of separation on the ground, but with some time available to avoid a collision.