Runway incursions have been a hot topic recently. The year started with a couple of serious incidents in the US, those being the Delta Air Lines flight incident in January, where it had to reject take-off as an American Airlines plane crossed in front, and in February, a FedEx cargo plane had to abort its landing as a Southwest Airlines flight was taking off on the same runway. While these high-profile incidents make headlines globally, they represent only a fraction of the runway incursions taking place each year. Most often, these incidents occur at smaller aerodromes catering primarily to regional, business, and general aviation flights.

Now, whilst it is easy for operations to believe the challenges they face are unique to them, in reality others are either also experiencing the same challenges or have faced them before. Therefore, the Safety Foundation and EUROCONTROL have jointly initiated the development of a Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Incursions (GAPPRI). This initiative brings together a diverse group of industry professionals, spanning ANSPs, Aerodrome Operators, Airlines, States & Regulators, Manufacturers, and R&D organisations.

The goal of the initiative is to address the risk of runway incursions and enhance aviation safety, through the development of a set of collaborative consensus-based recommendations, that go beyond regulatory compliance. It also serves as a natural evolution from the European Action Plan (EAPPRI) and has created a platform for industry-wide introspection on the measures required to reduce the risks associated with runway incursions.

The journey of GAPPRI began in Brussels in March, where the team came together to discuss the issue of runway incursions, review data and initiatives, and to commence the development of the action plan. In the months following the meeting in Brussels, the different working groups split off to develop and refine their sets of recommendations. This collective effort culminated in a critical workshop in Malaga in October. During the workshop, each group presented their recommendations to the broader teams before finalising them for publication. This process has ensured that there is broad consensus on the recommendations across all disciplines.

At Think, we have played a pivotal role in driving this initiative forward. One of our senior consultants, James Lewis, has been acting as the key focal point for CANSO as part of the lead team responsible for crafting the ANSP recommendations. James has orchestrated the collection of feedback from CANSO members worldwide to ensure that the plan benefits from a truly global perspective. Furthermore, his extensive project work with Think has allowed him to contribute valuable insights and practical expertise to the production of the recommendations.

As a result of the hard work and dedication of all involved, Volume 1 of GAPPRI has been published. You can download a copy here.

The next phase will involve the production of Volume 2, which will delve deeper into each recommendation, offering guidance and explanatory material that will provide valuable insights and best practices. We take immense pride in contributing to this initiative, firmly believing that it will have a tangible and lasting impact on aviation safety.