FAA: Voluntary Changes Improve Runway Safety

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The U.S. aviation community has made significant progress in efforts to improve on-airport safety in the last two months, the FAA said on Monday. "Recent close calls at some of our nation's busiest airports show that action must be taken to reduce the risk of runway incursions and wrong runway departures," the FAA said in a statement. Representatives of airlines, airports, air traffic control and pilot unions, and aerospace manufacturers, met with the FAA in August and agreed to work together to improve cockpit procedures, airport signage and markings, air traffic procedures, and technology. The FAA's statement includes a progress report on what actions have been taken. The list includes new taxiway markings at 52 large airports and 24 smaller ones, the completion of runway safety reviews at 20 major airports, the expansion of recurrent training requirements to more airport users such as FBO operators and airline mechanics, a review of taxi clearance procedures, and the expansion of a voluntary reporting system for safety issues.

The FAA also is working with air carriers to require more training on the pushback-through-taxi phase of flight, and establish mandatory recurrent training programs for ground crews. For the FAA's complete report, click here.