Different types of transport involve dissimilar safety risks, and all of them require the use of specific strategies to be reduced. In aviation, apart from technical difficulties during flights, these risks are presented by runway incursions. This term is used to define any case in which an individual or an object entering the runway poses a threat to other people’s safety. The occurrence of runway incursions always involves significant risks – there have been numerous cases of collisions with human casualties. Runway incursions are widely recognized as the most significant challenge to the safe operation of the runway systems.
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For instance, in 1977, more than five hundred people died in Tenerife as a result of an incursion (Wilke, Majumdar, & Ochieng, 2015). The problem can have different degrees of severity depending on the type of object entering the runway. The majority of runway incursions are not high-risk events since they involve only one air vehicle; nevertheless, the prevention of such incidents is particularly important (Wilke et al., 2015).
Modern researchers pay focused attention to the development of tools helping to exclude any runway incursions, but there are still some challenges to safety management. According to Wilke et al. (2015), some studies utilize theoretical approaches to analysis that neglect the role of airport design, pedestrians, and drivers in runway incursions, thus creating analytical tools that are of a limited practical significance.
FAA (2018), the authority in the field of aviation, lists a number of technologies aimed at maintaining runway safety; they include special training sessions for pilots and the creation of safe areas for the aircraft. Concerning safety challenges, it is sometimes impossible to build safety areas that fully meet the required standards due to the unwanted characteristics of the land (limited space, natural and industrial obstacles, etc.) (FAA, 2018). Therefore, despite experts’ efforts, there are no incursion mitigation strategies that would work perfectly in all cases.
Wilke, S., Majumdar, A., & Ochieng, W. Y. (2015). Modelling runway incursion severity. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 79, 88-99.
FAA. (2018). Fact sheet – Runway safety. Web.