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Joint AOPA-FAA initiative brings FSS into runway safety programJoint AOPA-FAA initiative brings FSS into runway safety program

The one branch of the FAA with the greatest daily contact with general aviation pilots, flight service stations (FSSs), will soon play a vital role in getting the word out about runway safety.

Acting on recommendations from an FSS working group, the FAA plans to have FSS issue runway safety information during preflight briefings. AOPA was the only industry representative included in the working group, providing the customer perspective. Other participants included FAA management, FSS personnel, and representatives from the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists.

"Runway safety is an important issue to all pilots," commented Melissa Bailey, AOPA's vice president of air traffic, regulatory, and certification policy. "Since many GA pilots speak with an FSS specialist prior to flying, it only makes sense to include them in efforts to reduce runway incursions."

Exactly how best to incorporate the runway safety information into the briefing will probably be the subject of another working group, so it may be a while before pilots start hearing briefers talk about runway safety. AOPA expects to be included in that working group, as well.

Other recommendations from the working group include:

  • Assigning a full-time FSS representative to the National Runway Safety Program;
  • Assigning full-time FSS representatives to each Regional Runway Safety Integrated Team;
  • Educating all FSS employees about runway safety, to include the integration of runway safety training into the FSS initial qualification resident course.

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