Since the first engineered materials arrest system (EMAS) was installed in 1999 at JFK International Airport, there have been 15 incidents where an aircraft has rolled onto an EMAS during an overrun, the FAA said. The first such encounter was by a Saab 340 at JFK in May 1999, while the most recent incident involved an Embraer Phenom 100 at Kansas City Downtown Airport in February.
Business jets accounted for eight of the incidents, with airliners making up the balance. No serious injuries resulted to the 406 crew and passengers aboard those flights that were safely stopped by an EMAS. Currently, EMAS has been installed at 116 runway ends at 69 airports in the U.S., with plans to install three more at two U.S. airports.
EMAS uses crushable material placed at the end of a runway to stop an aircraft that overruns the runway. The tires of the aircraft sink into the lightweight material and the aircraft decelerates as it rolls through the material. An EMAS installation can stop an aircraft going up to 70 knots from overrunning the runway.
Although FAA Advisory Circular 150/5220-22B notes that EMAS may not be as effective for incidents involving aircraft with mtows of less than 25,000 pounds, safe stops did occur for two jets with mtows under 20,000 pounds: a Beechjet and the aforementioned Phenom 100.