RUNWAY INCURSION STATISTICS
While it is difficult to eliminate runway incursions,
technology offers the means for both controllers and
flight crews to create situational awareness of runway
incursions in sufficient time to prevent accidents.
Consequently, the FAA is taking actions that will
identify and implement technology solutions, in conjunction
with training and procedural evaluation and
changes, to reduce runway accidents. Recently established
programs that address runway incursions center
on identifying the potential severity of an incursion and
reducing the likelihood of incursions through training,
technology, communications, procedures, airport
signs/marking/lighting, data analysis, and developing
local solutions. The FAA’s initiatives include:
- Promoting aviation community participation in runway safety activities and solutions.
- Appointing nine regional Runway Safety Program Managers.
- Providing training, education, and awareness for pilots, controllers, and vehicle operators.
- Publishing an advisory circular for airport surface operations.
- Increasing the visibility of runway hold line markings.
- Reviewing pilot-controller phraseology.
- Providing foreign air carrier pilot training, education, and awareness.
- Requiring all pilot checks, certifications, and flight reviews to incorporate performance evaluations of ground operations and test for knowledge.
- Increasing runway incursion action team site visits.
- Deploying high-technology operational systemssuch as the Airport Surface Detection Equipment-3 (ASDE-3) and Airport Surface Detection Equipment-X (ASDE-X).
- Evaluating cockpit display avionics to provide direct warning capability to flight crew(s) of both large and small aircraft operators.
Statistics compiled for 2004 show that there were 310
runway incursions, down from 332 in 2003. The number
of Category A and Category B runway incursions, in
which there is significant potential for collision,
declined steadily from 2000 through 2003. There were
less than half as many such events in 2003 as in 2000.
The number of Category A incursions, in which separation
decreases and participants take extreme action to
narrowly avoid a collision, or in which a collision occurs, dropped to 10 per year.
On the user side, there are more than 740,000 active
pilots operating over 319,000 commercial, regional,
general aviation, and military aircraft. This results in
more than 49,500 flights per day. Figure 1-6 depicts over
5,000 aircraft operating at the same time in the U.S.
shown on this Air Traffic Control System Command
Center (ATCSCC) screen.
TAKEOFFS AND LANDINGS
According to the FAA Administrator’s Fact Book for
March 2005, there were 46,873,000 operations at airports
with FAA control towers, an average of more than
128,000 aircraft operations per day. These figures do not
include the tens of millions of operations at airports that
do not have a control tower. User demands on the NAS
are quickly exceeding the ability of current resources to
fulfill them. Delays in the NAS for 2004 were slightly
higher than in 2000, with a total of 455,786 delays of at
least 15 minutes in 2004, compared to 450,289 in 2000.
These illustrations of the increasing demands on the
NAS indicate that current FAA modernization efforts
are well justified. Nothing short of the integrated, systematic,
cooperative, and comprehensive approach
spelled out by the OEP can bring the NAS to the safety
and efficiency standards that the flying public demands.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEM COMMAND CENTER
The task of managing the flow of air traffic within the
NAS is assigned to the Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC). Headquartered in
Herndon, Virginia, the ATCSCC has been operational
since 1994 and is located in one of the largest and
most sophisticated facilities of its kind. The ATCSCC
regulates air traffic at a national level when weather,
equipment, runway closures, or other conditions place
stress on the NAS. In these instances, traffic management
specialists at the ATCSCC take action to modify
traffic demands in order to remain within system capacity.
They accomplish this in cooperation with:
- Airline personnel.
- Traffic management specialists at affected facilities.
- Air traffic controllers at affected facilities.
Efforts of the ATCSCC help minimize delays and congestion
and maximize the overall use of the NAS,
thereby ensuring safe and efficient air travel within the
U.S. For example, if severe weather, military operations,
runway closures, special events, or other factors affect
air traffic for a particular region or airport, the ATCSCC
mobilizes its resources and various agency personnel to
analyze, coordinate, and reroute (if necessary) traffic to
foster maximum efficiency and utilization of the NAS.
The ATCSCC directs the operation of the traffic management
(TM) system to provide a safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of traffic while minimizing delays.
TM is apportioned into traffic management units
(TMUs), which monitor and balance traffic flows
within their areas of responsibility in accordance
with TM directives. TMUs help to ensure system
efficiency and effectiveness without compromising
safety, by providing the ATCSCC with advance
notice of planned outages and runway closures that
will impact the air traffic system, such as NAVAID
and radar shutdowns, runway closures, equipment
and computer malfunctions, and procedural changes.
[Figure 1-7 on page 1-8]