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48 CHAPTER ELEVEN CONCLUSIONS Runway incursions are a major area of concern to the FAA, targeted as being unsatisfactory by many survey respondents. airport, and aircraft operations, and to the general public. The FAA implemented new NOTAM procedures effective This report provides qualitative and anecdotal information on January 28, 2008, as a first step toward resolving the unsatis- factors affecting safe winter operations and the prevention of factory concerns. runway incursions by airport snow removal and equipment operators. Through a literature review and a questionnaire The survey responses and discussion with airport opera- distributed to airport personnel, data were collected to address tors point to an effort by airport organizations to do the best the study's main points of focus as follows: they can given the resources they have. Every airport did take snow and ice control activity seriously and recognized the Communication protocols and systems currently in use, increased risk of an incident or runway incursion. Additional Winter operational protocols in use, resources of equipment, personnel, technology, and money Human factors that affect personnel, are possible solutions, but the report highlights that organi- Equipment and vehicle design factors that play a role in zational procedures (or the lack of them), competing pressures, prevention, and human performance factors are issues seeking attention Training or training systems used by airports, and as well. The availability of commercial displays or warning sys- tems to prevent incursions. The methods airport operators use for marshaling their resources during winter operations varied among airports. Throughout the report, examples from incident reports and Conducting snow removal operations with small groups of from survey respondents are included to help highlight the equipment with one lead was deemed a good practice at larger problems and solutions that airport operators experience dur- airports. Whether an airport closed a runway for snow removal ing winter operations. Both practical and theoretical guidance operations or accommodated aircraft operations depended on managing collision risk factors are provided. The collision on many competing factors. These factors could be more risk factors are grouped and discussed under the headings of: thoroughly evaluated through implementation of a safety Communication, Environment, Human Performance, Situa- management system. tional Awareness, Time Pressures, Vehicles and Equipment Resources, Operational Factors. Lastly, technology investi- Winter operations require sustained human performance gated, used, or proposed to help mitigate the effects of human over both intense short and long periods of a snow event. error and help reduce the possibility of a serious runway Fatigue is a major factor affecting the decision making and incursion are described. risk management of individuals. The study found that fatigue was frequently reported as the cause of mistakes on the air- The study found that unsatisfactory communication con- field. Contributing to fatigue was stress as a result of factors tinues to be a factor contributing to runway incursions by both within and external to the workplace. Both the individual individuals engaged in snow removal operations. Communi- and airport management have a responsibility to address the cation refers to both the radio communication requirements effects of fatigue and stress as factors contributing to runway of the FAA, the methods for coordination between the par- incursions. None of the snow and ice control plans reviewed ties engaged in winter operations, and the dissemination of for this report discussed runway incursion prevention issues safety information to others. Although the FAA has standard associated with driver fatigue and distraction, though it was procedures for radio communication, the study found that mentioned in an ancillary policy and procedure manuals errors by all parties involved continue to result in runway developed by one airport. incursions. The methods for coordination were found to vary among airports, in part due to the size of an airport's opera- The importance of situational awareness (SA) while oper- tions, the available resources, and the emphasis airport man- ating on the airfield was an important ingredient for reducing agement placed on proper coordination. Methods that work collision risk factors. Loss of SA was found in the literature to at large airports may not apply to smaller airports, or vice be a major cause of controller, pilot, and ground vehicle oper- versa. Also, the dissemination of safety-related information, ator errors. A safe operating environment is achieved when primarily through the notice to airmen (NOTAM) system, was snow crews and air traffic controllers coordinate effectively

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49 and work closely to that end. A letter of agreement is a starting Study better methods for disseminating airport operating point, but it may also require a trusting relationship with air conditions and related safety information to pilots, espe- traffic control tower personnel. Adherence to well-established cially at uncontrolled airports. standard operating procedures is important in that regard, Study more uniform procedures and practices for inclu- and this report provides information on procedures in place at sion in an airport's snow and ice control plan or separate different-sized airports. procedure manual. Study expanding the Runway Incursion Information and Lastly, both past, present, and future technology is presented Evaluation Program to include airport operators, as a that has been studied by the FAA, implemented in some means for better understanding the nature of errors that cases, and still being considered in others, and which further occur during winter operations. helps to act as a defensive mechanism for addressing human Study revising the vehicle purchasing parameters to error as a cause of runway incursions. The hope is that tech- encourage the acquisition of safety-related devices and nology can reduce the impacts on the weak links of the coor- more powerful vehicles to maximize visibility, minimize dination and communication necessary between controllers, driver fatigue, and reduce the time spent on the runway. pilots, and ground vehicle operators. The technology, however, Research and investigate more fully the advantages and also needs to be affordable to the smaller airports and stand disadvantages of headphone use, types of vehicle light- up to the harsh conditions of winter operations. ing and their arrangement on the vehicles, and better ergonomic controls and cabin environments specific to Specific issues arising from this report and which are areas airport equipment. for further investigation or research are as follows: Study safety management systems as a means for better evaluating decisions associated with operating proce- Provide for specific research and training opportunity dures, staffing levels, coordination with others, and man- into the impact of fatigue during winter operations at aging the pressures associated with snow and ice control airports and how to better address or manage it. and low visibility conditions. Study enhancing the training and education of personnel Investigate, conduct, and better report research on the within airport organizations into the principles of fatigue, capabilities of incursion technology during winter stress, and SA. operations.