Carol Carmody, acting head of the National Transportation Safety Board, briefed the House Appropriations transportation subcommittee Wednesday on the increasing chance of a "catastrophic accident" due to runway incursions from aircraft, vehicles, and people. Carmody said that general aviation aircraft were responsible for the majority of the 429 runway incursion cases reported last year. (However, GA aircraft are 92 percent of the aircraft fleet. Most GA runway incursions occur in VFR conditions and do not lead to an accident.) Of the reported incursions last year, nearly 60 percent were the result of pilot error, she said.
AOPA and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation have for years been leading advocates of runway safety and are actively involved in general aviation pilot education and awareness programs aimed at preventing runway incursions. An innovative online training course, the ASF Runway Safety Program, launched this month, has successfully trained more than 10,000 pilots. Other pilot resources available free through the AOPA Web site include airport taxi diagrams and ASF safety publications such as Collision Avoidance and Operations at Towered Airports .