Increased Safety Margin Required For Snowy Conditions


Winter is still a long way off, but jet operators need to think about it now, in light of a new policy published by the FAA last week. The policy mandates that jet operators — whether operating under Part 91, 123, 125 or 135 — must have a plan by Sept. 1 to ensure that a full-stop landing — with at least a 15-percent safety margin beyond the actual landing distance — can be made on the runway to be used, in the conditions existing at the time of arrival. The policy means that if conditions deteriorate while en route, the crew or dispatcher must refigure the landing minimums, and divert if the conditions can’t be met. The policy results from the overrun of a Southwest 737 at Midway last winter, in which a 6-year-old boy was killed when the jet ran off the runway onto a road and hit a car. Under the new rules, a pilot who is told the runway condition is fair to poor will be expected to assume the runway is in poor shape when deciding whether to land, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told The Chicago Tribune.