One third of all aviation accidents related to runway operations

Posted: 24 May 2011 | AHCOM | No comments yet

Despite the consistent growth of civil aviation over the past decades, air transport remains the safest form of mass transportation…

Despite the consistent growth of civil aviation over the past decades, air transport remains the safest form of mass transportation – reflected in a remarkably low global accident rate of roughly four accidents per million departures. As world traffic is expected to keep increasing in the years ahead, it is imperative that the international community work as one to reduce the accident rate, with particular emphasis on runway incursions and excursions and other runway-related events, which account for the largest single category of aviation accidents.

To address this issue, ICAO in conjunction with its partners[1] is convening a Global Runway Safety Symposium from 24 to 26 May, at ICAO Headquarters in Montreal. Prestigious speakers, panellists and participants from ICAO Member States and industry organizations, as well as research organizations involved in the development of new technologies, will be exchanging views and creating a global path forward to improve runway safety. Some 450 participants from 75 States, as well as international organizations, have registered for the Symposium.

“The objective of the Symposium is to better identify all of the operational and regulatory elements involved in runway safety,” said Nancy Graham, Director of the Air Navigation Bureau of ICAO. We want to come to a common understanding with the various stakeholders on how these all fit together. We will also be setting the stage for regional workshops on runway safety that ICAO and our international partners will be hosting during the next three years around the world.”

Multiple and interrelated factors enter into all runway accidents, including airport design and construction, air traffic control, air traffic management systems and processes, airline operations, flight crew awareness and communications. An effective runway safety programme must be based on multidisciplinary research and solutions.

“Airport and aircraft operators, associations representing pilots and air traffic controllers, aircraft and avionics manufacturers, air navigation service providers and regulators all have important roles to play in developing effective runway safety solutions. Moving forward, one of ICAO’s main challenges will be to establish higher levels of coordination between these groups so that the sharing of information and best practices related to runway accidents can benefit aviation stakeholders more quickly and on a globally-harmonized basis,” Graham emphasized.


  1. Airport Council International (ACI), Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), EUROCONTROL,Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Flight Safety Foundation (FSF), International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA), International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA), International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Association (IFALPA), International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Association (IFATCA).
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