FAA Announces Converging Runway Procedures

 - January 27, 2014, 1:15 PM

The FAA has updated its air traffic controller handbook–JO7110.652–in an effort to prevent aircraft from flying too close together when operating on or near a busy hub airport. The update addresses arrivals and departures using both intersecting and non-intersecting runways. The effort evolved in response to a number of close calls that brought departing aircraft into close proximity with an arrival that had executed an unplanned go-around near the airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board also recommended a similar change–A-13-024–on July 1, 2013.

The new policy for aircraft using intersecting runways, for example, requires the tower controller to ensure that a departing aircraft does not begin its takeoff roll until an aircraft landing on the other runway has cleared that runway, has passed through the intersection of the two runways or has landed and confirmed it will hold short of the runway for the departing aircraft.

The downside of the safety effort is that it may reduce takeoff and landing capacity at airports such as Chicago O’Hare, Boston Logan and Washington Dulles.