Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) released a final report early this month on the June 2010 accident at Ottawa’s MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (CYOW) in which the pilots of a Trans States Airlines Embraer ERJ 145LR were unable to stop the aircraft on the airport’s 8,000-foot Runway 7 during landing. With 33 passengers and a crew of three–none of whom was injured–the aircraft made a smooth touchdown 1,740 feet beyond the threshold of a wet runway approximately eight knots too fast.
Most of the resources to reduce runway incursions are already in place, according to the FAA’s group manager for runway safety, Jim Krieger, who believes the problem is well understood by pilots, controllers, airport managers and airport vehicle drivers. “Most of what we do now is evaluate an incursion after it occurs,” Krieger told AIN. “We need to look at all of the [data] outcomes and become more predictive about these events.
The Civil Air Navigation Services Organization has launched an initiative to improve runway safety at airports that will provide a runway safety checklist for airports and air navigation service providers (ANSPs), as well as key tips for both pilots and air traffic controllers. The effort includes a revised and updated education bookleton runway excursions, Unstable Approaches–ATC Considerations,as well as a smartphone app.
Air traffic controllers are using advanced procedures to space aircraft closer together on takeoff and landing at major U.S. airports, making early progress toward a major goal of the NextGen ATC modernization effort: increasing airspace capacity.
Knox County Commissioners in Maine voted June 11 to claim eminent domain access to three properties located northwest of Knox County Regional Airport (KRKD) to cut down nearby trees. The trees have grown into protected runway airspace along the extended runway centerline of Runway 13. This is not the first time trees have posed a problem. A Learjet 45 on a nighttime approach to Saratoga Springs Airport in July 2008 struck trees growing near the runway centerline.
Construction on the first section (north end) of the main runway at Van Nuys Airport is expected to be completed this month. The $20 million renovation project, which began in February, aims to rehabilitate and modernize the 8,000-foot Runway 16R/34L to meet current FAA design standards.
Dubai International Airport (DXB) is to close both runways over a period of almost three months next year in a major refurbishment program that will lead to the diversion of scheduled passenger flights, as well as all Emirates SkyCargo aircraft, to the new Dubai World Central Airport (DWC). The work at one of the world’s busiest intercontinental hubs is due to take 80 days and will start on May 1 next year.
Signature Flight Support (Booth 364) is again handling all helicopter traffic in and out of Gatwick Airport after the helicopter aiming point (HAP) re-opened earlier this month. The development means that business and commercial aviation operators will again be able to land at Gatwick without a formal runway landing slot (they will need only an HAP slot, so ATC has prior notification) and without having to taxi on the runway.
Pilots and controllers at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Memphis International (MEM) and Houston Intercontinental (HOU) may soon take part in operational testing of a new reduced-separation standard between aircraft departing on parallel runways during crosswind conditions. For the wake turbulence mitigation for departures (WTMD) procedure one of the aircraft must weigh more than 300,000 pounds (categorized as “heavy”) and weather conditions must remain at least basic VFR with a 1,000-foot ceiling and three statute miles visibility.
Signature Flight Support has resumed handling of all helicopter traffic into London Gatwick Airport, coinciding with the reopening of the helicopter aiming point (HAP) on May 3. The opening of the HAP after a 12-year hiatus allows operators once again to land helicopters at Gatwick without having to taxi on the runway. The new HAP is located at the end of Taxiway Uniform on the airport’s west side. Slots are still required for landing, and the HAP is for daylight use only when visibility is better than 1,500 meters.