FAA issues new runway safety rule to prevent runway collisions

As of this week, pilots will need specific clearance from an air traffic controller for every runway he or she crosses when taxiing to take off or heading back to the airport after landing. The rule change is likely to satisfy a 10-year-old NTSB ‘Most Wanted List’ recommendation to prevent runway incursions and improve runway safety.

The U.S. saw an average of 13 potentially catastrophic runway accidents per year from 2000-2009. That period coincided with an era of reduced flights after 9/11 and during the recession. Traffic is now expected to pick up over the next decade with an estimated 3 percent more flights annually.

“By being alert to this [new rule], [pilots] are much less likely to have a problem,” Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation President Bruce Landsberg said in a video posted at AOPA. Here’s Landsberg on the new rules and runway incursions in general:

The two reasons pilots have problems with runway incursions is either because they’re complacent. They’ve done it many many times – we are creatures of habit – or they’re distracted…

You have to say, “My job, right now, 100 percent is getting where the airplane where it is now now to wherever it is I’m going, either on the outbound leg or the inbound leg…”

Many of the areas where we have incursions, they don’t just happen to new pilots. They happen to very experienced pilots. Because

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