Airports Could Do Better At Runway Safety, Say Experts


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Airports lack consistency in the way signs and instructions at airport runways are displayed which is critical in the conversation on airfield safety is kept to the highest standards, according to aviation officials gathered at the World Aviation Safety Summit, held in Dubai.

“In order to keep airfields safe, flight crews needs a clear, safe and consistent operating environment that avoids confusion,” says Andrew Green, Manager Aerodrome Safety & Standards, Aviation & Airports Safety Department at Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA).

Green said that Dubai International Airport is consistent in its runway environment but highlighted reasons why other airports are reluctant to implement best practice, including a lack of a regulatory requirement, cost of implementation, more training being required and in some cases not enough experience to implement. “Most runway incursions occur in good met conditions,” he said.

According to IATA, last year some 3.8 billion travellers flew safely on 40.4 million flights. Flying is still the safest form of long distance travel. However, safety incidents in 2016 increased globally according to its most recent report.

Bhamidipati Srinivas, Head of Aviation Safety, Bangalore International Airport commented that improved communications is necessary to reduce runway excursions. He also called for increased training for controllers and Air Navigation Service Providers as well as improved speed control and clearer information for Automatic Terminal Information Services in global airports.

David Gleave, a Chief Safety Investigator argued that improved instructions are needed at all runways and that geometry should always be considered in order to improve safety.