At the heart of every airport Safety Management System (SMS) plan is the recognition that a proactive approach to safety is needed. This involves the application of some level of predictive thinking to determine how
the risks of identified hazards either can be
eliminated or mitigated. In the world of runway
excursion prevention, FAA has taken a very
proactive approach to risk mitigation.
Within the context of Safety Risk Management
(SRM), which is one of the four pillars of SMS,
FAA has taken steps to identify and analyze the
hazards of non-conforming runway safety areas
(RSAs); assess the need to improve RSAs to the
extent practicable; and implement measures
SRM-based approach produced a safety policy in
the form of an FAA standard that airports need
to comply with to address the identified risk of
runway excursions. In general, FAA stipulated
that commercial airports would need 1,000 feet of
space to mitigate the severity of overrun accidents.
With many airports facing the difficulty of
complying with this standard due to space or
other constraints, FAA took a more proactive and
innovative approach by conducting research with
industry partners to develop technology that can
be as effective in stopping an overrunning aircraft.
This resulted in the deployment of engineered
material arresting systems (EMAS) at many U.S.
airports. To date, there are more than 77 runway
ends protected by EMAS.
The SMS model also requires a safety assurance
element. Here, the objective is to evaluate the
effectiveness of the implemented safety measure