2009 FAA International Runway Safety Summit


General Information

Taxiing Toward Tomorrow: The FAA International Runway Safety Summit

FAA Runway Safety Summit Promo Graphic The premier FAA International Runway Safety Summit (IRSS) will be held December 1-3, 2009, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.. Co-sponsored by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and The MITRE Corporation, this three-day event focuses on one of aviation's most critical challenges worldwide - Runway Safety.  Click the picture here for a special message from Wes Timmons, Director, Office of Runway Safety, Federal Aviation Administration.

Each day at airports around the world, dozens of incidents take place between aircraft appropriately taking off, landing or taxiing on a runway and other unauthorized aircraft, vehicles or pedestrians on or near that same runway. More commonly known as a runway incursion, it is officially defined as: "Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take off of aircraft."

An incursion has the potential to result in catastrophic loss of life and property such as the collision of two Boeing 747s on a foggy runway at the airport in Tenerife, Canary Islands in 1977 which resulted in nearly 600 fatalities. The ultimate aim of the International Runway Safety Summit is to prevent another Tenerife and to significantly reduce the frequency as well as severity of runway incursions.

As such, the IRSS' agenda over two and half days comprises discussions, analyses and reviews of runway safety's most critical issues including human factors; airport geometry, signs, markings, and lighting; technology today and tomorrow; cockpit and ATC procedures; and SMS systems. Each panel, whether assessing runway safety progress to date, initiatives underway, or plans being made for future environments, will thoroughly examine what's going on both in the United States and around the world.

Recognized safety experts from industry and labor such as the Air Line Pilots Association, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, CANSO and the International Air Transport Association and aviation authorities such as the Federal Aviation Administration and EUROCONTROL along with other aviation leaders will participate in dynamic, thought-provoking presentations and commentaries, all of which will provide plenty of Q&A time for audience participation.

"By bringing these individuals together, we will not only be able to evaluate our progress to improve runway safety to date, but also will set a course for the future of runway safety worldwide," said Wes Timmons, FAA's director of the Office of Runway Safety.

Special keynote talks by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood (invited), FAA Administrator J. Randolph Babbitt, and FAA Air Traffic Organization Chief Operating Officer Hank Krakowski will emphasize the importance placed on runway safety in the United States and its aviation partners worldwide. Wednesday's luncheon presentation will feature Captain Robert Bragg, the sole surviving flight crew member of the Pan Am Tenerife crash.

Airport managers and planners, air traffic controllers, pilots, engineers, human factors specialists, safety experts, airline officials and aviation association executives should plan on attending this very important runway safety conference. Everyone attending will come away with a better understanding and perspective of where runway safety is today and where it is headed, whether in Europe, Asia, South America or the United States.