The FAA on Wednesday notified pilots that it has renewed its Runway Incursion Information and Evaluation Program (RIIEP) that allows investigators to gather information from pilots involved in runway incursions and surface incidents. This helps the FAA to determine the best way to educate pilots and reduce the number of incursions. Pilots who participate in the program often avoid legal action from the FAA.
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is the FAA's link to educating pilots. The FAA endorses ASF's Runway Safety Program, which means the agency will consider a pilot's program completion certificate when determining what course of action to take after a runway incursion or surface incident.
"Pilots could be spared punitive legal action for participating in ASF's Runway Safety Program and the FAA's RIIEP," said David Wright, ASF director for training. "Instead, pilots might receive counseling or administrative action."
Administrative action involves either a warning notice or letter of correction that is issued during remedial training; counseling is carried out through the FAA's Aviation Safety Program.
RIIEP originally was slated to last one year, but the FAA recently extended the program's life for an additional year, through July 20, 2005. The program has been expanded to include the collection of data from surface incidents - incidents in which an aircraft enters a runway safety area without clearance but doesn't create a safety hazard. Earlier, the program focused solely on runway incursions.
The FAA also has created a more detailed questionnaire for pilots and improved its method of processing that information.
ASF's Runway Safety Program is free online for all pilots, and completion counts toward the FAA's "Wings" pilot proficiency award program. ASF also offers flash cards of runway signs and markings that make a handy training tool. Download them for free online.
October 13, 2004