Current standards for Runway Safety Areas (RSAs) are fairly rigid because they depend only on the type and size of aircraft using the runway. However, numerous factors affecting operations may lead to aircraft overruns, undershoots, and veer-offs. In many instances, standard RSAs are not feasible because of constraints, such as obstacles or land unavailability. In such cases, it is essential that alternatives be evaluated to minimize risk, to the extent practicable, in relation to site-specific conditions. For example, depending on the type of operation, the relationship between actual runway distance required and the actual runway distance available for both landing and takeoff can significantly affect the risk.
An approach for risk assessment of RSAs has been developed under ACRP Report 3: Analysis of Aircraft Overruns and Undershoots for Runway Safety Areas. ACRP Report 3 provides a risk-based assessment that is rational and accounts for the variability of several risk factors associated with aircraft overruns and undershoots. In addition, ACRP Report 3 provides a risk model based on comprehensive evidence gathered from aircraft accidents and incidents in the United States and other countries.
The findings in ACRP Report 3 are the basis for further research to quantify and assess risk in the RSA environment. Understanding this level of risk under a given set of conditions is essential to address RSA enhancement opportunities.
The objective of this research is to develop and validate a user-friendly software analysis tool that can be used by airport and industry stakeholders to quantify risk and support planning and engineering decisions when determining RSA requirements to meet an acceptable level of safety for a various types and sizes of airports. This research will expand on the research presented in ACRP Report 3, using many variables, not just those referenced in Table 7, page 28, of the report. The tool will be interactive and versatile to help users determine the risk based on various input parameters. Risk is defined, in this project, as the probability of hull damage to aircraft, aircraft occupant injury, third-party injury, and property damage, as referenced in ACRP Report 3, Appendix B, Table B1-1, “FAA Severity Definitions.”
The research has been completed and is available as Report 50
. Background on the research is provided in ACRP 04-08 ppt