airports, an estimated 65 percent of RSAs have been
improved to meet FAA’s full standard. When one
factors in those that already had been improved to
the extent practicable, the percentage of runways in
compliance is nearly 90 percent. FAA is progressing
well with improving RSAs to meet the federally
mandated deadline of Dec. 31, 2015, for Part 139
certificated airports. As SMS implementation takes
effect, the SRM process will require continued risk
assessments to be conducted at airports. This may
further involve an assessment of the risk mitigation
measures for runway excursions, whether through
examination of a fully compliant RSA or an installed
arrestor bed. In cases where an overrun event is
extremely probable and catastrophic, it may make
sense to examine how safety can be improved further.
As RSAs are being completed at commercial
service airports, one may wonder about the issue
of runway excursions at general aviation airports.
With as many as 5,000 GA airports in the U.S.,
a mechanism to identify risk, assess risk and
prioritize and implement control measures to
mitigate hazards would be necessary.
Since aircraft overruns do seem to happen when
one least expects it, it is fortunate that options are
available to mitigate that risk.
Kevin Quan is vice president, sales and marketing, Zodiac
Arresting Systems – ESCO. He may be reached at Kevin.quan@
The unlikely happened that week when two
aircraft overran opposite ends of Runway
9-27 with dramatically different outcomes.