Research Projects

Runway Incursion Risk Modelling

Develop tools for evaluating the risk of runway incursions based on airport-specific factors such as airfield configuration, weather, aircraft operations, aircraft characteristics, and air traffic management practices. This project would involve data collection from historical runway incursion event data for storage in a relational database. These events would be classified by type following FAA and international taxonomy. Separate models would be developed for each type of event. The models would employ independent variables identified as either causal or contributing factors for the occurrence of the event. Separate models would be developed to determine the likelihood of an incursion and the severity of the incursion using estimates of aircraft separation and speeds. The results would be a tool that airport planners and designers could use to evaluate runway incursion risk potential associated with specific airport operations and proposed changes to airfield configurations.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

The FAA has completed a number of studies that identify specific airfield configurations that contribute to runway incursions. For example, wide taxiway entrances to an active runway are shown to be associated with a higher likelihood of a runway incursion. However, these findings are not location-specific. They apply to all airports regardless of size, complexity and geography. Other airport-specific factors in addition to the specific configuration can also contribute to runway incursions. For example, pilots in smaller aircraft might have increased perception difficulties when negotiating wide entrance taxiways. Airports that are considering airfield changes that are intended to decrease the potential of runway incursion need to have a complete risk analysis tool to fully understand existing and potential runway incursion risks. Proposed airfield changes intended to decrease runway incursion risk at one specific location might also be increasing the risk at other locations on the airport. A tool is needed to help airports understand the net risk reduction for these types of proposals.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

Develop tools for evaluating the risk of runway incursions based on airport-specific factors such as airfield configuration, weather, aircraft operations, aircraft characteristics, and air traffic management practices. This project would involve data collection from historical runway incursion event data for storage in a relational database. These events would be classified by type following FAA and international taxonomy. Separate models would be developed for each type of event. The models would employ independent variables identified as either causal or contributing factors for the occurrence of the event. Separate models would be developed to determine the likelihood of an incursion and the severity of the incursion using estimates of aircraft separation and speeds. The results would be a tool that airport planners and designers could use to evaluate runway incursion risk potential associated with specific airport operations and proposed changes to airfield configurations.

Approach (Describe in general terms the steps you think are needed to achieve the objective.)

The project is planned for three phases. Phase 1 will ascertain relevant data for a runway incursion risk assessment
model. This would consist of a review of runway incursion reports from FAA and international agencies by a panel
of research experts to identify data types that would be appropriate for modelling. It is expected that this phase
would consider operational and environmental factors such as airfield configuration, aircraft characteristics, weather,
visibility, ATCT communications, irregular events such as construction and weather interruptions, and
pilot/controller familiarity with the airfield. Phase 2 will target the collection of data, evaluation of availability,
suitability of information from runway incursion r
eports and other data sources, and the development of the risk
-
based approach and models. In addition, the research team will propose an outline of analysis software to be
completed in the phase 3. Phase 3 will focus on software development and model validation. Model validation will
require the use of the software tool and other airfield simulation software to obtain analysis results for a sample of
airports.

Cost Estimate and Backup (Provide a cost estimate and support for how you arrived at the estimate.)

Project Budget: $200,000
Duration: 18 months
Research
Milestones:
2 months to identify relevant model data elements
5 months to collect and evaluate data, including outline of the model software
6 months to develop a model from various data bases, preparation of user manual, reports to ACRP,
2 months to vali
date model, including interviews with several US airports (LAX, ORD, DFW, PHL, SEA, SFO,
SAN, RDU, MIA) operations personnel, FAA Control Tower personnel and the FAA Runway Safety Management
Professionals
3 months to prepare and coordinate final report.

Related Research - List related ACRP and other industry research; describe gaps (see link to Research Roadmaps above), and describe how your idea would address these gaps. This is a critical element of a synthesis topic submission.

RPZ risk assessment modeling and tool (ACRP Report 168)
RSA risk assessment modeling and tool (ACRP Report 50 and Report 3)
Runway Veer-off risk assessment modeling and tool (ACRP Report 107)
Risk assessment to support modifications of airfield separation standards (ACRP Report 51)

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Idea No. 56

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