In fiscal year (FY) 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Airports (ARP) initiated a research study to identify and geographically locate areas at airports with nonstandard taxiway geometry. This research was advanced because an earlier study (Legarreta, 2012) had shown nonstandard taxiway geometries to be associated with a higher prevalence of runway incursions. The FAA defines a runway incursion (RI) as “any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle, or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and takeoff of aircraft.” These occurrences include wrong runway landings and takeoffs. This research effort developed a geographic information system (GIS) database of approximately 520 airports with civilian air traffic control towers. For each airport, the location of nonstandard geometries, runway incursions, airfield hotspot areas, airport diagrams, and other airport-related information is identified. This research study identified 140 airfield locations with a high incidence of RIs using data from October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2013. As a result, a 15- to 20-year improvement program, known as the Runway Incursion Mitigation (RIM) program, launched in FY2015. The goal of the program was to mitigate airfield locations with high incidents of RIs. A subset of the 140 locations identified was then validated for inclusion in the RIM program and prioritized for mitigation.
The RIM program is updated annually utilizing the GIS airport database to identify construction-related changes to airfield layout and their impacts on taxiway geometries, the airfield location of new RIs, and the status of airfield locations prioritized for mitigation.
This report summarizes the status of the RIM program through FY2021. In 2021, the program georeferenced 954 RIs, added 263 nonstandard geometry locations, prioritized 8 locations for mitigation, and identified 13 locations as mitigated. Since program initiation, 13,879 RIs have been georeferenced at airports along with more than 6,542 nonstandard geometry locations. In addition, 203 airfield locations were prioritized for mitigation and 75 of these locations have been mitigated. The rate of RIs at the 75 locations considered mitigated has been reduced by approximately 83%.
DOT/FAA/TC-22/14 Authors: Vitagliano, Lauren; Debban, Steven; Bleach, Kevin; Liu, Candace