The development of new and improved airport signage, which provides location information, can improve situational awareness to help decrease runway accidents and incidents, decrease delays, and increase capacity.
Engineered Materials Arresting Systems (EMAS) Signage Study
The FAA Airport Technology Research & Development Branch (ATR) is currently evaluating the use of signs in support of EMAS beds. EMAS beds are designed to safely decelerate an aircraft during an emergency overrun with minimal impact to the passengers or aircraft. These areas of low-density crushable materials are located at the end of selected runways unable to accommodate required runway safety areas.
While EMAS has proven to be effective in the case of emergency overruns, there have been several reported incidents where pilots have failed to use the EMAS during an emergency overrun.
ATR and research partners conducted two separate flight simulation experiments to determine:
- Optimal signage location to increase awareness of EMAS
- Effectiveness of signage to influence pilot decision-making during an emergency overrun
Results from this study will formulate new guidance for airports on optimal location for the EMAS sign and best practices to improve pilot awareness of EMAS’s presence and function at airports.