What causes runway incursions?

What causes runway incursions?

Runway Incursions

Accidents in aviation are not always exclusive to what occurs in the air, however also have the probability of occurring on the ground. There are many items or factors involved in a flight that could contribute to a runway incursion. In addition it is important to identify those factors in order to avoid runway incursions. Defining a runway incursion, identifying what attributes to them, and determining how to avoid such challenges allows new and old pilots to practice safer ground operations. 

A runway incursion is defined moreover, as any occurrence at an airfield relating to the improper attendance of any person, vehicle, or aircraft in a protected surrounding of a surface intended for all landing and takeoff procedures (Skybrary, n.d.). This definition could translate into several situations. Where a plane has entered a runway without proper clearance, if a vehicle were to accidentally roll onto a runway. Or if any person were to exit an aircraft on a runway without proper allowance. Looking at such examples, there are many ways to imagine how such events happen.

Situational awareness is a major factor to focus on when attempting to avoid runway incursions.

Stunned survivors mill about the burning wreckage of Pan American Boeing 747 Flight 1736, after it collided with another 747, KLM 4805, at Los Rodeos Airport on the island of Tenerife on March 27, 1977.(David Yeager Alexander)

Maintaining positive control of the aircraft is a great start to avoid runway incursions (Skybrary, n.d.). This involves proper input controls to stay on taxiway centerlines. As well as using the aircraft’s brakes and available reverse thrust in order to hold short of runway and taxiway entrances. Situational awareness could also extend into following and imagining where a plane is on the airfield (Skybrary, n.d.).

Using resources like taxi diagrams will strengthen situational awareness because the pilot is able to see where they are on the airfield. And better adhere to instructions given by air traffic control (ATC). Situational awareness even range to distractions in the airplane (Skybrary, n.d.).

Concorde Crash

Distractions in the airplane only take away crucial attention from the pilot on other items. Items that should not matter as much as maintaining positive control of the aircraft. Furthermore, distractions can branch into both technological and human errors. Where technology like cellphones or flight interfaces distract the pilot or how unnecessary conversation between pilots, crew. Or passengers cause inattentiveness and lead to runway incursions. 

US Airways : Confusion on the Runway

In conclusion, pilots operating aircraft on the ground are able to protect themselves from runway incursions by creating lines of defense. Lastly, these defensive measures are taxi diagrams, sterile cockpits, and proper aircraft control. Runway incursion avoidance not only protects pilots, but also the passengers they have aboard. 

What causes runway incursions? Written by Bain Campbell

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References: Skybrary. (n.d.). Runway Incursion – SKYbrary Aviation Safety. Skybrary.Com.https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Runway_Incursion