Explain the issues of runway incursions and address some of the safety management challenges in mitigating these incursions.
A runway incursion is defined as “any occurrence at an airport involving an aircraft, vehicle, person, or object on the ground that creates a collision hazard or results in loss of separation with an aircraft taking off, intending to take off, landing, or intending to land.” In recent years the number of runway incursions has been on the rise, with a 75% increase since 1993. This increase is likely due to a combination of factors which may include, an increase in the number of flight operations worldwide, an increase in the complexity of runway configurations, taxiway connections, and operational procedures, and increases in simultaneous aircraft surface movements. The situation can be exacerbated by weather conditions causing low visibility, and problems with communications between pilots and controllers.
The United States is focusing more heavily on reporting runway incursions compared to other countries. Peter Quaintmere of IFALPA indicated that other countries have a runway incursion problem, but that it is not currently considered an international issue. Dan Maurino (ICAO) added support to this comment. The US is possibly leading the world in reporting runway incursions; US ALPA is presently the driving force within IFALPA for the reporting of runway incursions.