27 April 2007 Prevention of runway incursions due to closed runways or unsuitable runway choices by enhanced crew situational awareness and alerting
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Proceedings Volume 6559, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2007; 65590I (2007); doi: 10.1117/12.719573
Event: Defense and Security Symposium, 2007, Orlando, Florida, United States
Of all incidents on the aerodrome surface, Runway Incursions, i.e. the incorrect presence of an aircraft on a runway, are the by far most safety-critical, resulting in many fatalities if they lead to an accident. A lack of flight crew situational awareness is almost always a causal factor in these occurrences, and like any Runway Incursion, the special case of choosing a closed or unsuitable runway - including mistaking a taxiway for a runway - may have catastrophic consequences, as the Singapore Airlines Flight SQ006 accident at Taipei in 2000 and, most recently, Comair Flight 5191, tragically show. In other incidents, such as UPS Flight 896 at Denver in 2001 departing from a closed runway or China Airlines Flight 11 taking off from a taxiway at Anchorage in 2002, a disaster was only avoided by mere luck. This paper describes how the concept for an onboard Surface Movement Awareness and Alerting System (SMAAS) can be applied to this special case and might help to prevent flight crews from taking off or landing on closed runways, unsuitable runways or taxiways, and presents initial evaluation results. An airport moving map based on an ED-99A/DO- 272A compliant Aerodrome Mapping Database (AMDB) is used to visualize runway closures and other applicable airport restrictions, based on NOTAM and D-ATIS data, to provide the crew with enhanced situational awareness in terms of position and operational environment. If this is not sufficient to prevent a hazardous situation, e.g. in case the crew is distracted, a tailored alerting concept consisting of both visual and aural alerts consistent with existing warning systems catches the crew's attention. For runway closures and restrictions, particularly those of temporary nature, the key issue for both extended situational awareness and alerting is how to get the corresponding data to the aircraft's avionics. Therefore, this paper also develops the concept of a machine-readable electronic Pre-flight Information Bulletin (ePIB) to bring relevant NOTAM information to the flight deck prior to the flight, with a possibility to receive updates via data link while the aircraft is airborne.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Christoph Vernaleken, Carole Urvoy, Uwe Klingauf, "Prevention of runway incursions due to closed runways or unsuitable runway choices by enhanced crew situational awareness and alerting", Proc. SPIE 6559, Enhanced and Synthetic Vision 2007, 65590I (27 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.719573; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.719573

Situational awareness sensors


Frequency modulation




Information operations

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