ARTICLE: Regulators Focus On Runways
A lot of smart people have devoted considerable attention to the problems being encountered on runways and still, as noted by NTSB Chairwoman Debbie Hersman:
“These incidents remind us how vulnerable we are when procedures or people fail.”
One of the improvements being implemented (so the benefits have not yet been fully accounted for) is a system called Runway Status Lights, which warns that a runway or taxiway is in use by automatically turning on red lights embedded in the tarmac.
A pilot’s awareness and attention are critical to operational safety; when she or he positions the plane on a runway or as the bird touches down, the body’s subconscious systems trigger that jolt of adrenaline that causes the eyes, senses and brain to focus on the task.
In the moments prior to take off the cockpit crew is running through checklists, reviewing all of the aircraft performance measures, communicating with the tower and talking to the passengers. Upon landing, there is a release of tension after guiding the plane to the terrain.
These observations suggest that maybe there is a simple need to heighten awareness of the pilots about the need to have the same sense of urgency on the taxiways, a period of relative comfort, but obviously of greater risk than the body’s subconscious systems recognize.Share this article: