TEB users group aims to improve airport safety

 - January 30, 2007, 10:09 AM

At a February meeting of the Teterboro Users Group (TUG), held just a couple of weeks after the Challenger 600 accident at the New Jersey airport, safety issues were the chief items on the agenda. The association briefed members on runway incursions and departure procedures and the steps the airport is taking to address those issues.

First on the agenda were runway incursions, which have been on the NTSB’s list of most wanted safety improvements since 1990. There were three at the airport last year. Bill DeGraaff, regional runway safety manager for the FAA’s eastern region, told
the group that a major factor in such incidents was runway crossings necessitated by airport layouts.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, operator of Teterboro, is correcting one such situation by building a full-length parallel taxiway for Runway
6-24 to reduce runway crossings and simplify and speed up movements on some taxi routes. DeGraaff said that another cause of incursions was the fact that pilots do not always follow taxi directions, even when they read them back correctly.

Departure Procedures
The second issue of concern was non-compliance with departure procedures. The departures in question are designed to separate Teterboro’s departing traffic from Newark Liberty International Airport’s arrivals on Runways 22 right and left.
The majority of incidents occur on the Teterboro 5 departure on Runway 24, said Jack Grogan, manager of the Teterboro FSDO. Most violations involve transient pilots unfamiliar with the airport departures.

Teterboro also has a special departure, the Dalton Departure, that can be used only in VFR weather and must be requested, although a controller can ask a pilot if he is familiar with that departure if there are delays. The Dalton Departure permits a pilot to take off VFR and pick up the IFR clearance in the air.

On the Dalton Departure for Runway 19, pilots are required to maintain runway heading until 800 feet and then turn right to a heading of 280 degrees, completing the turn before reaching 4 DME TEB, and then they must maintain VFR at or below 1,300 feet.

Rudy Steinthal, the airport noise abatement officer, is preparing a flyer to illustrate these departures in both diagrams and text. The most pertinent aspects of
the departures will be printed in red. TUG plans to have these distributed to all arriving pilots as they leave their aircraft. They will also be distributed in each of
the airport’s FBOs.

Airport manager Lanny Rider gave members an update on the February 2 Challenger 600 accident and said that runway arrester beds will be installed on Runway 6-24. The cost will be between $4 and $6 million.

He said that on the day of the accident a new piece of equipment called a “snozzle” helped extinguish the fire in the cabin. The snozzle is a nozzle designed to penetrate an airliner’s skin so firefighters can spray foam inside without having to enter the aircraft. It doused the flames in seconds.

The association is working to get another tower frequency and a low-level wind-shear alert system.