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Non-Airborne Conflicts: The Causes and Effects of Runway Transgressions

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This study updates ASRSs first investigation into runway transgressions, completed in 1978. Originally undertaken at the request of the FAA, the present endeavor utilizes the 1210 ASRS runway transgression reports received between May 1978 and September 1983. These incidents have been expanded to yield descriptive statistics. Additionally, a one-out-of-three subset was studied in detail for purposes of evaluating the causes, risks, and consequences behind transgression events. Occurrences are subdivided by enabling factor and flight phase designations. The study concludes that a significantly greater risk of collision is associated with controller-enabled departure transgressions over all other categories. The influence of this type is especially evident during the period following the air traffic controllers strike of 1981. Causal analysis indicates that, coincidentally, controller-enabled departure transgressions also, show the strongest correlations between causal factors. It shows that departure errors occur more often when visibility is reduced, and when multiple takeoff runways or intersection takeoffs are employed. In general, runway transgressions attributable to both pilot and controller errors arise from three problem areas information transfer, awareness, and spatial judgement. Enhanced awareness by controllers will probably reduce controller-enabled incidents. Increased awareness within the cockpit, as well as a mitigation of information transfer errors, are the two most pertinent focuses for minimizing transgressions that are pilot enabled.

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  • Military Aircraft Operations
  • Terminal Flight Facilities
  • Commercial and General Aviation

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