The Global Reporting Format – Industry must be prepared
Why should airport operators be concerned with the new Global Reporting Format? What are the issues and what are the potential solutions?
The differences in methodologies used across the world for the reporting of runway conditions have been a longstanding cause of confusion and misinterpretation by flight crews and identified as a leading factor in multiple aircraft accidents over the years. A majority of runway excursions occur when the runway is contaminated by water, ice or snow. The underlying reasons for this include variations in information sharing about runway conditions, different communications methods, lack of harmonisation in reporting, differences in training or even a lack of training.
To harmonise the information sharing method and thus mitigate the safety risks related to runways, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted a new assessment method and reporting format for runway surface conditions. This ‘Global Reporting Format’ (GRF) must be enforced for worldwide implementation from 4 November 2021. GRF is a globally standardised language reporting format for runways surface conditions, where users of the air traffic network understand what the numbers mean and how they can interpret them. The report is developed based on a Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM).
One may ask, why should airport operators be concerned with the new reporting format? In practice, the transition to the new GRF methodology may create some tensions or potential misunderstandings between personnel carrying out runway inspections or aerodrome works and flight crews that need to be considered carefully:
- Runway assessment will also be done in the summertime and in countries not affected by winter operations
- The Runway Condition Report in GRF is different from previously used runway reporting
- The runway inspector’s responsibility when reporting is significantly increased.