Runway Safety, Fatigue Land on Canada TSB Watchlist

 - October 30, 2018, 10:17 AM

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its released its fifth annual “Watchlist” yesterday, identifying seven key issues requiring government and industry’s attention to make Canada’s transportation system safer. Two of these are specific to aviation—runway overruns and risk of collisions on runways—while employee fatigue was cited by TSB as a concern for all transportation modes. The agency removed unstable approaches continued to a landing from its list.

“A major safety hazard…is employee fatigue,” the TSB said, adding that it is pervasive in a 24/7 industry where crews can work long and irregular schedules across multiple time zones. In fact, fatigue has been found to be a risk or contributing factor in more than 90 TSB investigations since 1992. To combat this issue, it called for “adequate duty-time regulations based on fatigue science, fatigue management plans that are tailored to company operations, and awareness training for employees and managers.”

Runway overruns and the risk of collisions from runway incursions are repeats from last year’s watchlist. According to the TSB, there are an average of nine overrun accidents and incidents annually. Thus, it is asking operators of airports with runways exceeding 5,906 feet to conduct overrun risk assessments, as well as for Transport Canada to adopt ICAO standards for runway-end safety areas.

From 2013 to 2017, Nav Canada recorded an average of 445 runway incursions each year, with 21 high-severity events recorded in each of the past two years. “Solutions could include improvements in air traffic control procedures, surveillance and warning systems, runway and taxiway designs, holding position visual aids, and flight crew training and procedures,” the TSB said. “Modern technical solutions, such as in-cockpit electronic situational awareness aids, and direct-to-pilot warnings, such as runway status lights, should also be implemented.”