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5 error, (2) pilot deviation (PD), or vehicle/pedestrian devia- Risk increases during winter operations because snow tion (V/PD). removal equipment is authorized to be on the airfield in larger numbers than other equipment during normal operations; more An operational error is a human error involving an ATCT individuals who are not normally accustomed to regularly controller, of which there are more than 8,000 in the United operating on the airport are at the controls of the equipment; States. A PD is a human error involving a licensed pilot, and low visibility or obstructed conditions make it difficult of which there are more than 675,000 in the United States. for controllers, pilots, and vehicle operators to see each other. A V/PD is a human error involving a vehicle operator or pedestrian that results in an entry onto the movement area The FAA has established a voluntary program called the that has not been authorized by an ATCT controller. Runway Incursion Information Evaluation Program (RIIEP). The program seeks to gather more in-depth runway safety The change in definition will have implications on how data on runway surface incidents and runway incursions and vehicle incidents are recorded and on the number of inci- seeks to understand the specific pilot or mechanic activities or dents recorded. The number is expected to increase because operating conditions that resulted in them (10). The primary previously identified surface incidents will now be recorded means of gathering the data is through in-depth interviews of as incursions. The new method of recording data reflects pilots and maintenance technicians involved in these incidents. how any incident is a potential hazard that could manifest Analysis of the data is used to implement risk-reduction pro- itself later as an incursion or an accident if the timing is grams, produce guidance, and augment technologies. To date, different. this program has not been extended to incidents other than those involving pilots and mechanics. BACKGROUND ON INCURSIONS The FAA has also established Runway Safety Action Teams as part of a national program, These teams are composed of Much emphasis has been placed on runway incursions over individuals who have a vested interest in safe operations at a the past decade, in part because of the significant possibility particular airport, such as airport management, air traffic for loss of life and property. The most recent U.S. statistics control management, airline management, pilot groups, tenant covering the FAA fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, groups, and others. show there were 24 serious runway incursions (using the old FAA definition) (6). The incursion data reported by the FAA represent those tracked at airports having staffed ATCT (7). REGULATIONS The 24 reported incursions occurred in relation to approxi- mately 61 million operations. Even though 24 incursions can Under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 139, airports be considered a small number, just one incursion can have desiring to be served by air carrier operations must acquire an catastrophic results. airport operating certificate from the FAA (11). The certifi- cate is issued only after the airport sponsor has developed an A drawback to identifying the true number of incursions airport certification manual (ACM) that describes how the or incidents is that they are normally only recorded at airports organization will comply with the federal safety regulations. that have operating control towers, of which there are 397 overseeing more than 61 million aircraft operations. Not Four sections of the regulations are pertinent to this synthe- recorded are the number of incursions or incidents that may sis study: (1) Section 139.303 Personnel, (2) Section 139.313 have occurred at airports without an ATCT operating or dur- Snow and Ice Control, (3) Section 139.329 Pedestrians and ing periods the ATCT was closed, of which there are a total Ground Vehicles, and (4) Section 139.339 Airport Condition of 3,364 public use airports in the National Plan of Integrated Reporting. Airports System and an additional 1,906 public use airports that are not included in that National Plan (8). The reported Under Section 139.303 Personnel, airport management has incursions and incidents may not be a true representation of the responsibility to provide sufficient and qualified person- the severity of the problem. nel to comply with the requirements of its ACM and Part 139; equip personnel with sufficient resources; and train all person- Information on runway incursions is important from an air- nel who have access to the movement areas and safety areas. port safety management standpoint. Airport operators need to In particular, training is to address airport familiarization; know the potential risks associated with an activity so that they procedures for access to, and operation in, movement areas can determine the proper measures to manage the risk. During and safety areas; airport radio communications; and other winter snow removal operations, the risk of incursions can duties required under the ACM. increase significantly. Risk is assessed by identifying: (1) the probability that an event could occur, (2) the severity of its Section 139.313 Snow and Ice Control requires airport man- potential outcome, and (3) its exposure level, which is the agement, located at airports where snow and icing conditions number of opportunities for the event to occur (9). normally occur, to prepare, maintain, and carry out a snow