Image © Ariel Shocrón
The latest accident of the Carpatair flight from Pisa to Rome veering off the runway at Fiumicino airport on 2 Feb came as a reminder about the safety risks posed by runway excursion and the need to better prevent from this type of accidents. Just a few days after a similar accident at Newark Liberty International Airport, the aviation world is looking into new ways to address this issue.
To reduce the number of runway excursions in Europe, EUROCONTROL together with a wide-range of EU stakeholders has recently released an ambitious action plan, called European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions (EAPPRE). The action plan provides a comprehensive set of stakeholder-specific guidelines and recommendations on how to better prevent runway excursions. It also includes provisions for airline pilots to be closely involved in identifying potential runway safety issues and working on means to mitigate runway safety deficiencies at a local level.
Globally runway excursions account for a substantial share of all accidents, i.e. 19%. In Europe, 13% of all accidents in 2011 were runway excursions where an aircraft veers off or overruns the runway on take-off or landing. The goal of the new action plan is therefore to reduce the occurrence of one of the most common types of air accidents by providing operational and system recommendations to aircraft operators, air navigation service providers, airports, and regulatory authorities. The new action plan also emphasizes the need to ensure full pilot involvement at airport level in all decision-making processes. ECA has been very closely involved in the drafting process of the action plan and has successfully advocated for pilots, as front-end users, to be involved in all relevant decision-making processes at airport level.
ECA Press Release “Tackling runway excursions: new plan to enhance safety” 23 Jan 2013