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EUROCONTROL and partners issue recommendations to prevent runway excursions

EUROCONTROL and partners issue recommendations to prevent runway excursions

Runway excursions – when aircraft unintentionally veer off or overrun the runway on arrival or departure – are one of the most serious risks in aviation, and comprised 23% of accidents between 2005 and the first half of 2019 according to IATA (International Air Transport Association) data.

GAPPRE – the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions – represents an unprecedented consensus from across the aviation industry on how to address this major safety risk. Developed by EUROCONTROL and the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF), with inputs from 100 aviation professionals from more than 40 organisations, GAPPRE contains recommendations for aircraft operators, airports, air navigation service providers, aircraft manufacturers and regulators.

“Identifying operational safety hazards at network level in cooperation with operational stakeholders, and assessing the associated safety risk, is one of the EUROCONTROL Network Manager’s key tasks. The publication of our joint Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions is a concrete step towards reducing operational safety risks. I would like to thank all experts involved for their commitment and dedication to making flights safer, and preventing runway excursions from happening. I look forward to seeing these recommendations put to good practice as we build back better aviation.''

The risk of runway excursion depends on a number of factors such as runway condition maintenance and reporting, aircraft performance and operations, and collaborative approach path management, and can be mitigated by adhering to robust policies for safe descent and approach planning, stabilised approach, safe landing and go-around.

The aviation experts who identified the most important actions to reduce the risk of runway excursions were led by representatives from IATA, Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), the UK Civil Aviation Authority, Gulfstream, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) with overall coordination by the FSF and EUROCONTROL. The experts reviewed accident and incident data, single runway excursion event scenarios and best practices, and suggestions on risk and resilience management.

After two years of work, the result is an unmatched set of recommendations representing industry consensus on best practices and interventions. GAPPRE was reviewed and validated by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), IATA, CANSO and Airports Council International (ACI) World. Some recommendations can be implemented immediately, while others may require up to 10 years for technology maturation and implementation. In all cases, it will be up to the responsible organisations to decide specific details after taking into account local conditions and specific contexts.

Next steps

Guidance material and best practice for the implementation of the recommendations – the second part of GAPPRE – will be published in the coming weeks.

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