Eurocontrol claims to have gained a valuable insight into the extent of runway incursions at European airports after data showed its runway safety programme has generated a surge in incident reporting.

The organisation says it is receiving about 350 incursion reports a year, compared with just 50 or so before its awareness efforts. It says 91% of 120 key European Civil Aviation Conference airports have set up runway safety teams – comprising representatives of the airport operator, airlines and air traffic control provider – which regularly meet to address safety issues.

“The seriousness of incursions is beginning to drop off,” says Eurocontrol air traffic management programmes director George Paulson. “We believe this is in part due to the runway safety teams.”

Eurocontrol had just started work on improving runway safety when the initiative was given added urgency by the fatal runway collision at Milan Linate airport in October 2001.

Paulson says that the sharp rise in incident reports has proved valuable.

Source: Flight International