NPA 2018-14

Runway safety

The objective of this NPA is to mitigate the safety risks associated with runway safety, from an aerodrome’s perspective, focusing mainly on the prevention of runway incursions and on runway surface condition assessment and reporting, but also addressing issues such as ground collisions, runway confusion, foreign object debris (FOD)- related occurrences as well as runway pavements’ maintenance.

This NPA proposes changes to existing operational requirements of Regulation (EU) No 139/2014, as well as the introduction of new ones, which are based on ICAO provisions and recommendations contained in the European Action Plans for the Prevention of Runway Incursions and Excursions (EAPPRI, EAPPRE) as well as safety recommendations addressed to EASA by the Accident Investigation Boards of Norway and Sweden. It also provides for alignment with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) State Letters AN 4/1.2.26-16/19, AN 4/27- 16/28 and AN 13/2.1 – 16/54, as regards runway surface condition assessment and reporting which will be applicable worldwide by November 2020.

In particular, the proposed changes concern the framework for the operation of vehicles at an aerodrome, including the authorisation of drivers and the conformance of vehicles operating on the manoeuvring area with certain safety prerequisites to ensure runway safety. Linked to this is also the proposal for a new requirement on communications, but also a different proposal for the control of pedestrians at the aerodrome. In addition, the NPA proposes the introduction of new requirements for runway surface condition assessment and reporting, aerodrome snow plan, aerodrome maintenance, aircraft towing and FOD control programme as well as performance standards for runway surface friction measurement devices.

Finally, certain changes to existing requirements related to surface movement guidance and control systems (SMGCS) and other operational activities are also proposed.

The proposed changes are expected to improve safety by reducing the number of runway-safety-related occurrences from an aerodrome perspective. In addition, it is expected that some of the changes will improve harmonisation as a result of the introduction of new common requirements which do not exist currently. The proposed changes will ensure alignment of the current EU aerodrome regulatory framework with the relevant aerodrome-related ICAO provisions of Annex 14, PANS – ATM and PANS – Aerodromes. Finally, the new requirements for runway surface condition assessment and reporting are aligned with the outcome of RMT.0296 ‘Review of aeroplane performance requirements for commercial air transport operations’.