The FAA issued SAFO 13007, which warns pilots to use extra caution when taxiing on intersecting or active runways. “At many airports, it is common for ATC to use an active or inactive runway as a taxiway [to accommodate] airport geometry, construction, congestion or taxiway restrictions.”
A new fuel-saving and safety-focused aircraft taxi system is being tested at Frankfurt Airport (EDDF), Germany. The new taxi tool, called “follow the greens,” allows crews to add just enough power to taxi–without intermediate stops–to reach their airport destination. Controllers communicate the go/no-go signals to crews by turning on and off various portions of the airport’s green taxiway centerline lighting, which are also expected to help prevent runway incursions. Constant cockpit throttle positions are expected to save fuel.
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive for the Dassault Falcon 7X requiring a new procedure in the airplane flight manual. It was prompted by a report of a runway excursion caused by failure of the nose landing-gear position-feedback assembly. The AD is designed to detect and correct an incorrect angle signal causing an uncommanded nosewheel deflection.
The FAA’s newest runway safety enhancement tool, runway status lights (RWSLs), became operational on July 25 at Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD). The new system uses a series of colored lights embedded in the runway and taxiway pavement to help prevent runway incursions by offering pilots and vehicle operators a simple visual system to determine whether it is safe to cross or enter a runway.
London Gatwick Airport has proposed construction of a second parallel runway. If construction of the new runway is given a green light, it is expected to create additional air traffic flexibility and system safety for both business and commercial aircraft operations. The Gatwick plan offers three potential runway configurations, the most flexible allowing simultaneous instrument approaches and departures on both runways. Politically, prospects for building the runway are tied up in the wider debate about possible future expansion of London Heathrow Airport.
None of the five people aboard a Sukhoi Superjet 100 was injured on July 21 when the aircraft landed gear-up during an early-morning approach at Iceland’s Reykjavík-Keflavík International Airport (BIRK). The Russian aircraft had departed Reykjavik at just after 4 a.m. local time on a training flight and was conducting an approach to Runway 11 when it executed a go-around and a circuit over the sea before returning to land.
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.
The Las Vegas ATC tower announced that effective July 12, aircraft departing McCarran International Airport (LAS) should no longer expect to be issued either of the airport’s parallel Runways 19 Left or Right during a southerly traffic flow.
Runway 16R/34L, the primary runway at Van Nuys Airport in southern California, is closed until July 26 at 11:59 p.m. The closure is part of a $20.5 million improvement program, which includes asphalt milling and paving of more than 4,000 feet of the center section of the runway. Runway 16L/34R (4,000 feet long) remains open as normal (closing at night from 10:45 p.m. to 6 a.m.). Pilots are urged to check notams before flying to Van Nuys. The runway improvement project will be completed in August.
The FAA has published details outlining new procedures for air traffic controllers conducting simultaneous approaches to offset parallel runways (SOIA) at airports separated laterally by less than 3,000 feet, such as San Francisco International (SFO).