Published at November, 21 2016

Updated on March, 30 2017

Runway incursion prevention

  • Sécurité aérienne

Runway incursions are rare events and existing implemented preventive and mitigation measures participate in keeping their numbers and severity as low as they can be. However, they constitute a major and acknowledged safety threat amongst the aviation community. In this respect DSNA has set the reduction of runway incursions as one of its utmost safety improvement objective.

Classification & risk assessment method

ICAO defines runway incursions as being « 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.”

In order to help DSNA’s safety cells build an accurate risk picture of runway incursions, all occurrences must primarily be thoroughly collected. In this respect, all operational actors (i.e. DSNA’s ATCOs, Aircraft Operators crews and airside drivers) are encouraged to systematically report runway incursions when they occur.
Thereafter, events are classified according to the European severity classification scheme “RAT” (Risk Assessment Tool). Serious and major ATC contributions are particularly looked into even if whatever the severity of the occurrence, all runway incursions are adequately investigated.

Adjusted and relevant prevention measures

To mitigate the severity of runway incursion events and cut down their numbers, corrective and/or preventive actions are implemented. They address all identified critical areas of concerns : aerodrome lighting, markings & equipment improvements, ongoing ATC training, specific situational awareness information campaigns, simplification of procedures, phraseology, Human Factors, etc…

The establishment of Local Runway Safety Teams has been identified as an additional means to advise all relevant runway operations actors on potential runway incursion issues and recommend mitigation strategies. Airport Operators are responsible for their coordination. LRST meet on a regular basis and concern the following 11 DSNA’s airports : Paris Charles-de-Gaulle, Paris-Orly, Nice-Côte d’Azur, Bâle-Mulhouse, Bordeaux-Mérignac, Martinique-Aimé Césaire, Lyon-Saint Exupéry, Marseille-Provence, Nantes-Atlantique, Strasbourg-Entzheim, Toulouse-Blagnac.

Surveillance - Awareness - Safety nets

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Image transcription : Surveillance - Awareness - Safety nets

  • ATC clearance and thorough feedback
  • Ground radar and integrated safety nets at Paris CDG and Orly
  • Hotspots publication on platform charts
  • Elevated runway guard lights at holding points - WIG WAG
  • Stop-bars in low visibility conditions
  • Local meetings with platform actors (in events such as CDM@DSNA)

Aircrews we need your full awareness

Here are the worldwide top 5 reasons for runway incursions :

  1. The aircraft lands without clearance being issued by the controller
  2. The aircraft takes off without clearance being issued by the controller.
  3. Aircraft, vehicle or pedestrian enters the runway in use without clearance
  4. Aircraft, vehicle or pedestrian enters the runway in use at the incorrect holding point.
  5. Aircraft lines up on the runway in use out of instructed sequence.

Source: CANSO

DSNA - RI per year

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Image transcription : DSNA - RI per year

DSNA - RI per year
 RI reportedRI reported with ATM ground contribution

A strong European concern

DSNA actively participates in the European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Incursions (EAPPRI v1 & v2, v3 available from November 2017). This document issues 90 recommendations notably based on aircraft operator concerns. Best practices arising from this collaborative document should be recognized and integrated by all airlines’ safety management system to prevent runway incursions even further.

Here is an example of a key recommendation that the EAPPRI puts forward:
"Flight Crew should not enter a runway for departure if not ready to take off. Flight Crew must advise Air traffic Control without delay if additional time on the runway is required for operational reasons."
Source: recommendation 1.4.4 EAPPRI V2

The reduction of runway incursions will be a clearly stated objective for the reference period 3 (i.e.2020-2024) of the European Commission performance plan. A specific key performance indicator (KPI) will have to be monitored by all ANSP for this time period.

DSNA methodology to prevent runway incursion

To mitigate the severity of runway incursion events and eventually cut down their number, we take actions.
Preventing runway incursion begins by following a consistent methodology:

  1. A dedicated training in the Unit Training Plan (initial and refresher) for the ATCO
  2. An open reporting culture climate and an effective just culture, to collect all the incidents
  3. A robust safety occurrence management system to take advantage of all the details
  4. A thorough analysis of all types of runway incursions in order to keep an accurate risk picture and consolidate the on-going action plan:

Open configuration options


  • Individual feedback about significant events towards concerned ATC teams,
  • Systematic runway incursion briefings to Air Traffic COntrollers (ATCOs) especially in Low Visibility Procedures (LVP) and single runway operations,
  • Specific ATCOs training courses to raise runway incursion awareness,
  • Close collaboration with Airport Operators to tackle the vehicle runway incursion issue.
  • An involvement in the safety case when works have to be conducted on the airport layout.