Europe launches runway incursion action plan

Eurocontrol together with its runway safety partners have unveiled the latest version of the European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Incursions (EAPPRI v3.0).

The issue of the Plan coincided with the ICAO Global Runway Safety Symposium being held in Lima, Peru.

Despite widespread implementation of the recommendations contained in the previous versions of the Plan, Eurocontrol said the number of runway incursions affecting European and global airports remains a significant safety concern.

EAPPRI v3.0 therefore contains modifications to some existing recommendations to re-focus and re-energise ongoing actions being taken across the aviation industry to prevent runway incursions.

In particular, EAPPRI v3.0 challenges the aviation industry to review the effectiveness of systemic runway incursion risk reduction activities associated with Safety Management Systems (SMS) and aerodrome local Runway Safety Teams.

The updated Plan also contains a number of new recommendations affecting all the stakeholders with a vested interest to further invigorate improvements in runway safety. These range from new measures to enhance the safety of airside drivers who need to access runways through to facilitating air traffic controllers’ ‘heads up’ scanning so that, as far as practicable, they can maintain a continuous watch of aerodrome operations.

Furthermore, there are recommendations encouraging national authorities to establish national runway safety teams and for the industry to move towards the graphical display of safety critical aerodrome information to pilots to improve their situational awareness.

Many of the new recommendations stem from industry ‘best’ practices reflecting the collaborative nature of the work to update the Plan. EAPPRI v3.0 has also been shaped by taking note of the outcomes from deeper and more detailed analysis of reported runway incursion events building on the improvements seen in safety reporting and investigation in recent years.

In addition, several of the lessons identified in Network Manager operational safety studies examining sudden high energy runway conflicts, air traffic controllers’ ability to detect occupied runways and aircraft landing without an ATC clearance have all been incorporated in EAPPRI v3.0 to enrich the content.

“The production of EAPPRI version 3.0 has been a true collective effort”, said Richard “Sid” Lawrence, Network Manager EAPPRI V3.0 Development Lead. “We followed the saying that the Plan should be ‘by the industry, for the industry’ and the new recommendations and associated guidance materials reflect this approach.”

Like its predecessors, EAPPRI v3.0 leans heavily towards the consistent application of ICAO provisions. However, reflecting the fast-changing European regulatory landscape, the updated Plan also recognises the important contribution now being made by EU/EASA regulatory provisions and guidance in the field of runway incursion prevention and gives them due prominence.

“EAPPRI version 3.0 will only bring value if the words are turned into meaningful actions. “Implementation is the key to the success of any Plan,” said Tony Licu, head of Safety Unit, Eurocontrol. “If we are to accommodate the anticipated growth in aircraft, particularly at our airports, which in many cases are already capacity constrained, then we must continue to make improvements to the safety of our runways. Collective implementation of the recommendations in EAPPRI v3.0 provides us with the means to do this and I would encourage all stakeholders to review the updated Plan and implement the recommendations as far as practicable according to local conditions and circumstances.”

The contributing organisations include, but are not limited to, air navigation service providers, aircraft operators, aerodrome operators, regional/national aviation authorities/regulators, international professional aviation associations and aeronautical information service providers.

Posted in Airports, News, Safety

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