What Are the Issues With Runway Incursions?

Runway incursions are a severe issue and a serious liability that every aircraft owner and pilot must consider. However, many things can be done to prevent incursions. This includes making the runway safer for passengers, keeping the airport clean, keeping the aircraft out of hazardous areas, and educating the pilots.

Human error

Runway incursions are a natural hazard in today’s busy air traffic environment. However, a recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) study found that almost a quarter of all airport incursions were due to human error.

The top five most common causes of runway incursions are the pilot or flight crew, the aircraft operator, and the aircraft equipment. Fortunately, many systems and procedures are in place to prevent runway incursions. However, better data collection and analysis are still needed to truly understand and eliminate the risk.

The first step to preventing a runway incursion is understanding what it is. Essentially, it’s an incorrect presence of a single vehicle in a protected area.

While there are several ways to prevent a runway incursion, one of the best and most obvious is to follow the road rules. These rules include ensuring that a pilot has a complete understanding of their airport diagram. An airport diagram should be in the pilot’s field of vision whenever possible.


Runway incursions refer to the unauthorized presence of an aircraft or other vehicle on a runway. They are a hazard that can pose severe risks to both the pilot and passengers. To prevent them, it is essential to understand their causes.

Several different factors contribute to runway incursions. However, the most common are:

Pilot deviations. These can be categorized as unauthorized entry into a takeoff or landing area and failure to follow ATC clearances.

In addition to aircraft, runway incursions can be caused by ground vehicles. One example is a fuel truck driver who crosses the runway without permission.

Inattentiveness can also be a factor. For example, if a pilot does not observe the aircraft in front of him, he may accidentally roll it onto the runway.

Hot spots

Runway incursions occur when one or more aircraft lands on the wrong runway. They can occur at major airports, smaller fields, and seaplane bases. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have addressed the problem in recent years.

Numerous tools are available to help airports and their pilots avoid runway incursions. These include the Automated Terminal Information Service and the From Flight Deck video series. However, situational awareness is still the best way to reduce the risk of accidents.

One of the better ways to increase your situational awareness is to be aware of the various hot spots at your airport. This will help you plan your route to and from the runway. It also allows you to identify the right landing spot in engine failure.

Lack of revenue stream

The first place to start is the airport you will fly into and out of. Aside from a few big guys, the rest of the flock comprises a mix of small and medium-sized airports with an average size of less than a half million passengers. And while these smaller airports may need to be flusher with traffic, they are in an excellent position to reap the benefits of the airline industry’s latest initiatives, such as ad hoc and frequent passenger flight programs. These programs make it easy for pilots to make short trips from the airport to their destinations.

If you want to boost revenues by upping ticket prices, look to the programs above for help. But, of course, the airports above should also be vested in keeping passengers and crews safe. The FAA has released several safety alerts focusing on the most significant and everyday hazards.

Hazards associated with incursions

Running runway incursions is an ongoing risk. They can lead to fines, license cancellation, and jobs lost. However, several government and aviation industry efforts have been introduced to mitigate the risk.

One of the critical elements of runway incursion prevention is identifying and addressing the underlying causes. This can be done through training. Pilots and pilot trainees should learn to read and follow airport diagrams, standard operating procedures, and checklists. These steps can help them avoid incursions and other accidents.

Another effective way to decrease the risk of incursions is to utilize various in-cockpit situational awareness aids. For instance, flight strip systems can alert pilots when an attack occurs. Also, aircraft lights should be used by the instructions in each pilot’s manual.