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Serious Runway Incursions Cut in Half

October 15, 2009 — According to the FAA, there were 12 serious runway incursions the past year, with two involving commercial carriers, compared to 25 such events in 2008, with nine involving commercial carriers. A runway incursion occurs when something or someone intrudes on a runway without authorization. A serious incursion is one in which a collision was narrowly avoided, or there was a significant potential for collision that resulted in the need to take quick corrective action.

“The aviation community agreed two years ago at FAA’s Runway Safety ‘Call to Action’ meeting to implement safety improvements at U.S. airports,” said Administrator Babbitt. “Teamwork helped get us to where we are today. But while the 50 percent reduction is remarkable, there is still much work to be done to continue to reduce the potential risk.”

Close calls in 2007 at some of the busiest U.S. airports prompted the FAA to take immediate action to reduce the risk of runway incursions and wrong runway departures. There were 24 serious runway incursions that year, eight of them involving commercial carriers. As a result, an intense effort was launched to expedite the installation of new technology at airports, complete proper signage and markings at airports and conduct outreach and re-train pilots.


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