Preventing collisions on airport runways
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada wants airports to take action to reduce the risk of collisions on runways.
The concern is one of three highlighted in the TSB's 2016 Watchlist released this week.
“There continues to be a risk of aircraft colliding with vehicles or other aircraft on the ground at Canadian airports,” stated in the the safety issues document.
These situations on airport runways are called ‘incursions’.
Eric Vermette, regional operations manager for central air investigations with TSB, defined an incursion as a situation where an unauthorized vehicle or aircraft is on a runway.
He added a serious incursion is when there is real potential for a collision on the tarmac, because a vehicle is on the runway that is not permitted to be there.
According to the statistics released by the TSB, there have been 2,041 incursions on Canadian runways from 2011-2015 – of that number, 27 of them were considered serious.
In that same period of time, there have been no actual collisions reported to the TSB.
"Millions of takeoffs and landings happen each year at Canadian airports," Vermette said. "Even though incursions are rare, the consequences can be catastrophic."
The TSB has made it known to the air industry that this issue will stay on the watchlist until new technologies are implemented to reduce the amount of serious incursions.
Other concerns on the Watchlist for the air industry are the number of unstable approaches happening in Canada as well as the number of times runways are overran by aircrafts.