Runway safety is concerned with reducing harm that could occur on an
aircraft runway. Safety means avoiding incorrect presence (incursion)
of aircraft, inappropriate exits (excursion) and use of the wrong
runway due to confusion. The runway condition is a runway's current
status due to meteorological conditions and air safety.
1 Definitions of runway accidents
2 Monitoring of runway safety
3 Meteorological conditions
4 See also
Definitions of runway accidents
Several terms fall under the flight safety topic of runway safety,
including incursion, excursion, and confusion. Terms such as runway
event or runway accident are used for such incidents.
Runway incursion involves an aircraft, and a second aircraft, vehicle,
or person. It is defined by
ICAO and the U.S.
FAA as "Any occurrence
at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft,
vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for
the landing and take off of aircraft."
Runway excursion is an incident involving only a single aircraft,
where it makes an inappropriate exit from the runway. This can happen
because of pilot error, poor weather, or a fault with the aircraft.
"Overrun" is a type of excursion where the aircraft is unable to stop
before the end of the runway. An example is Air
India Express Flight
812 in Mangalore,
India in 2010. Further examples can be found in the
Runway excursion is the most frequent type of
landing accident, slightly ahead of runway incursion. For runway
accidents recorded between 1995 and 2007, 96% were of the 'excursion'
Runway confusion is when a single aircraft makes "the unintentional
use of the wrong runway, or a taxiway, for landing or take-off".
Notable examples of a runway confusion incidents include Singapore
Airlines Flight 006,
Comair Flight 5191
Comair Flight 5191 and Air Canada Flight 759.
Monitoring of runway safety
FAA publishes an annual report on runway safety issues,
available from the
FAA website. New systems designed to
improve runway safety, such as Airport Movement Area Safety System
Runway Awareness and Advisory System (RAAS), are discussed
in the report. AMASS narrowly prevented a serious collision in the
2007 San Francisco International Airport runway incursion.
In the 1990s the U.S.
FAA conducted a study about a civilian version
of 3D military thrust vectoring to prevent jetliner catastrophes 
Some instruments for runway safety include ILS, LLWAS, Microwave
landing system, Transponder landing system, as well as Runway
Awareness and Advisory System.
The "runway condition" is a runway's current status in relation to
current meteorological conditions and air safety.
Dry: the surface of the runway is clear of water, snow or ice.
Damp: change of color on the surface due to moisture.
Wet: the surface of the runway is soaked but there are no significant
patches of standing water.
Water patches: patches of standing water are visible.
Flooded: there is extensive standing water.
According to the JAR definition, a runway with water patches or that
is flooded is considered to be contaminated.
Runway safety area
Runway Safety webpage, Retrieved 2008-12-14.
^ a b
Runway Safety, Retrieved 2009-04-02
^ a b "
Runway excursion Flight Safety Foundation" FlightGlobal.com,
"Safety Excursions", FlightGlobal.com, Retrieved 2008-12-15.
^ Various runway safety reports
Runway Safety Statistics
^ “Multiaxis Thrust Vectoring Flight Control Vs Catastrophic Failure
Prevention”, Reports to U.S. Dept. of Transportation/FAA, Technical
FAA Res. Benjamin
Gal-Or, Grant-Award No: 94-G-24, CFDA, No. 20.108, Dec. 26, 1994;
"Vectored Propulsion, Supermanoeuvreability, and Robot Aircraft", by
Benjamin Gal-Or, Springer Verlag, 1990, ISBN 0-387-97161