Recent accidents involving aircraft overruns in Little Rock, AR, Toronto, ON, and Chicago, IL have focused attention on improving airport runway safety areas (RSAs) in the United States and elsewhere. Undershoots are also a factor in the design of or improvement of RSAs. However, many airports do not have sufficient land to accommodate standard Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)/International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)-recommended RSAs, or they face extremely expensive and controversial land acquisition or wetlands filling projects to make sufficient land available. The recommended alternatives to a standard 1000-foot RSA in the United States involve either applying a runway declared distance restriction, with undesirable limitations on aircraft operational payload/range, or installing an Engineering Materials Arresting System (EMAS) with a minimum RSA length of 600 feet. Some airports cannot practically comply with either of these requirements. Current recommendations on standard RSA length are based on a review of all overrun accidents but did not factor in variables, such as the frequency of occurrence and severity of short versus long overruns. More comprehensive research to include additional variables related to runway overruns and undershoots would allow more informed decisions on this difficult problem.
The objective of this research is to compile and analyze historical data related to both overrun and undershoot occurrences to assist airport operators in evaluating runway safety areas.
You can view the published report of this project (ACRP Report 3
). Appendices to the report
are also available.