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FAA standardizing hot spot symbology

The FAA announced it is standardizing hot spot symbology as well as verbiage on airport diagrams within chart supplements and the Terminal Procedures Publications starting May 19.

The FAA is standardizing the symbols and shapes used to depict hot spots on airport diagrams on May 19. The various shapes and symbols used presently will be consolidated into three shapes with two meanings. Graphics courtesy of the FAA.

Hot spots are complex or confusing taxiway and/or runway intersections with a history or potential risk of collision or runway incursion. They require increased attention by pilots.

The FAA stated it is making the changes because “wrong surface events continue to be a focus area for the FAA as they can present a significant safety risk. The FAA has taken a number of steps to address wrong surface events but there is still a need to provide a more permanent awareness of these events, especially to general aviation pilots, who comprise 83 percent of wrong surface events. The remaining percentage is pilots operating commercially. The FAA is standardizing hot spot symbology to prevent pilot confusion regarding the meaning of or depiction of hot spots.”

The FAA continued, “currently…[hot spots] are charted with a variety of squares, rectangles, circles, ovals, and ellipses with no pattern or consistency. Beginning May 19, 2022, the FAA will standardize these symbols to three shapes with two distinct meanings: a circle or ellipse for ground movement hot spots and cylinder for wrong surface hot spots.”

The circles or ellipses will depict ground movement hot spots known to cause issues like hold short line infractions, approach hold issues, complex taxiways, movement/nonmovement boundary area issues, tower line-of-sight problems, and marking and signage issues.

Wrong surface hot spots will be depicted with cylinders and indicate locations where aircraft have inadvertently attempted to or depart or land on the wrong surface.

Along with the standardization of hot spot symbols the FAA will also be “introducing Arrival Alert Notices (AAN) at several airports with a history of misalignment risk. AANs provide a graphic visually depicting the approach to a particular airport with a history of misalignment risk. AANs will incorporate the new standardized hot spot symbology.”

Niki Britton

eMedia Content Producer
eMedia Content Producer Niki Britton joined AOPA in 2021. She is a private pilot who enjoys flying her 1969 Cessna 182 and taking aerial photographs.
Topics: Advocacy, FAA publications

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