Nov. 6, 2008, Alexandria, VA — The importance of reducing the risk of runway excursion accidents was highlighted at the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) 61st International Air Safety Seminar in Honolulu last Thursday. More than 300 attendees heard Dr. Earl Weener, FSF Foundation Fellow, describe the progress of the Runway Safety Initiative’s (RSI) efforts to reduce this common and sometimes fatal class of accidents. The RSI program, an industry-wide effort, is lead jointly by Dr. Weener and Jim Burin, FSF Director of Technical Programs.
Dr. Weener presented data to show that a focus on prevention of runway excursions, where an aircraft leaves the runway in an uncontrolled manner, is essential to improving global air transportation safety. “During the twelve year period from 1995 through 2007, of the global 393 runway-related accidents involving commercial transports, 96 percent, or approximately nineteen out of twenty, were runway excursions,” noted Dr. Weener. “Those accidents accounted for approximately seventy percent of the fatalities in runway-related accidents.”
The RSI team, formed in early 2007, includes representatives of all major segments of the commercial air transportation industry — airline and pilot organizations, airports, air traffic control providers, accident investigation and regulatory agencies, and aircraft manufacturers. The team’s focus includes the development of a comprehensive reference document for the prevention and mitigation of runway excursion accidents. In addition, the widely used FSF Approach and Landing Accident Reduction (ALAR) Tool Kit will be revised to reflect the enhanced understanding garnered by the RSI team, with a projected release in mid-2009.
Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, non-profit, international organization engaged in research, auditing, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to pursue the continuous improvement of global aviation safety and the prevention of accidents. www.flightsafety.org
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