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Serious runway incursions highlight need for awarenessSerious runway incursions highlight need for awareness

Serious runway incursions highlight need for awareness

By AOPA ePublishing staff

Two high-profile taxiway incidents in a single week have focused national media attention on runway safety issues soon after Rep. Jerry Costello called on the FAA to make regular reports to Congress on the status of runway safety efforts.

On Sunday, Feb. 24, two United Airlines jets clipped wing tips on a taxiway at Dulles International Airport, outside Washington, D.C. The incident came one week after a similar episode at Washington, D.C.’s Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport forced the evacuation of 63 passengers from two US Airways planes.

Both incidents occurred within days of a Feb. 13 hearing before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to address runway safety issues. During that hearing, Rep. Costello called for the FAA to report every 90 days on its progress in reducing runway incursions. AOPA President Phil Boyer also testified before the committee, saying that runway safety needs to be a national priority.

Pilots know that vigilance during ground operations is vital for all aircraft, especially at busy airports. To learn how you can be part of the runway safety solution, instead of part of the problem, see the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s Runway Safety online course, Runway Safety Flash Cards, and Safety Advisors on the topics of collision avoidance and towered airport operations.

Before venturing off to an unfamiliar airport, be sure to download taxi diagrams and review the AOPA Pilot Information Center’s subject report on runway incursions.

February 28, 2008

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