Flight crews use airport lighting, markings, and signs
to help maintain situational awareness when operating
on the ground and in the air. These visual aids provide
information concerning the aircraft’s location on the
airport, the taxiway in use, and the runway entrance
being used. Overlooking this information can lead to ground accidents that are entirely preventable. If you
encounter unfamiliar markings or lighting, contact
ATC for clarification and, if necessary, request progressive
taxi instructions. Pilots are encouraged to notify
the appropriate authorities of erroneous, misleading, or
decaying signs or lighting that would contribute to the
failure of safe ground operations.
A runway incursion is any occurrence at an airport
involving aircraft, ground vehicles, people, or objects on
the ground that creates a collision hazard or results in
the loss of separation with an aircraft taking off,
intending to take off, landing, or intending to land.
Primarily, runway incursions are caused by errors
resulting from a misunderstanding of the given clearance,
failure to communicate effectively, failure to
navigate the airport correctly, or failure to maintain
positional awareness. Figure 2-5 on page 2-5 highlights
several steps that reduce the chances of being
involved in a runway incursion.
In addition to the SMGCS program, the FAA has
implemented additional programs to reduce runway
incursions and other surface movement issues. They
identified runway hotspots, designed standardized taxi
routes, and instituted the Runway Safety Program.