After an uptick in the most serious categories of runway incursions in Fiscal Year 2016, the number of such events is tracking toward near historic low levels this fiscal year, according to the most recent statistics released by the U.S. FAA.
For FY2017, which runs through the end of September, the total number of Category A and B incursions has dropped to six, two of which involve commercial aircraft. The FAA defines Category A as “a serious incident in which a collision was narrowly avoided” and Category B as “an incident in which separation decreases and there is a significant potential for collision, which may result in time-critical corrective/evasive response to avoid a collision.”
With a month remaining in the fiscal year, the number of Category A and B collisions is dramatically down from the 19 last year, 10 of which involved commercial aircraft. This year’s levels also match the levels for all of 2010, when there were six total and three involving commercial aircraft.
In general, the number of such incursions has fallen dramatically since the year 2000, when the totals had reached 67 Category A and B events. The numbers gradually declined throughout that next 10 years and have oscillated between the low point of 6 in 2010 and 19 last year.
The FAA, noting reducing runway risk is a top priority, said it places emphasis on the most serious categories of incursions, using a government/industry collaborative approach. This includes application of safety management systems, training, new technologies and a relatively recent policy relating to converging runway operations.