Factors That Leads To Runway Incursion And Also Possible Ways To Mitigate Runway Incursion.

unway Incursions over the years

Before we treat the Factors that lead to Runway Incursions over the years, Let’s throw some light to what Runway Incursions really means. Runway Incursions simply means the existence or the presence of an unauthorized object, be it a person or a vehicle on the runway. This endangers the safety of an airplane, planning to take off or land on that runway.

However, We went Further providing possible factors/practices that can moderate or mitigate Runway Incursions

According to Fisher in 2002, He said: “While traffic volume, capacity-enhancing procedures, and aerodrome layout may increase the potential for a runway incursion, human error is the mechanism that translates this potential into an actual occurrence.”



Over the Years, The FAA has recorded four types of runway incursions, Which all are based on human error and loss of appropriate separation between aircraft and/or a vehicle.

The First Four Types of Runway Incursions Recorded By FAA

1. Operational Errors

This is when an air traffic controller inappropriately clears an aircraft or vehicle into a situation that results in a collision hazard

2. Operational Deviations

This simply occurs when a pilot moves an aircraft into a position with air traffic control approval, at a wrong time or place (different runway) this is one of the Factors That Leads To Runway Incursion

3. Pilot Deviations

This occurs when a pilot moves an aircraft into a position, without air traffic control approval, that leads to a loss of separation

A FACT TO BE NOTED: Between the years 1994 to 2001, Pilot Deviation was the main cause of runway incursions in every year except 1994. The FAA has further broken down the data to show that general aviation pilots were most likely to be involved in a runway incursion. In 2000, general aviation pilots committed 76 percent of the pilot deviations.

4. Vehicle/Pedestrian Deviations

This particular deviation occurs where a vehicle or individual enters a runway without air traffic control approval that leads to a collision hazard.

Aside from the Factors of Runway Incursions recorded by the FAA, There other factors that could lead to a serious ground incident includes:



-Memory lapses of controllers

-High workload

-Communication errors between controller and pilots

-Inadequate co-ordination

-Loss of situational awareness of the controllers

-Not visual with traffic from the tower, poor design

– Reduced reaction time due to trainee undergoing training

-The separation between aircraft being miscalculated



-Usage on non-standard RT phraseology

-Read back/hear back failures

-Ambiguous instructions

-Call sign confusion from similar call signs

-Long and complex instructions


The Loss of situational awareness

Inadequate support from the non-flying pilot (Pilot Monitoring)

time pressure which leads to “rushed” behavior

Noncompliance of instructions issued by ATC

Inadequate vigilance (complacency) in airports

Lack of crosschecking



Inadequate and complex design

Inadequate signage, marking and lighting systems

Airport layouts that are complex

A spacing between runways which are insufficient





Prioritization of workload – reducing workload and increasing attention during briefings will improve situational awareness

Pll non-critical operations to be completed before push-back

One pilot always monitors the progress of the taxiing against the aerodrome chart



Charts should be studied ahead of time and taxi routes reviewed with a detailed briefing of the taxi routes

Latest NOTAMS reviewed with attention to closures of taxiways and runways

When given an unexpected route or rerouted – take the time needed for a reorientation of the new route

Pay attention to the location of hot spots

Usage of standard RT phraseology

Receive and confirm clearances before crossing active runways, reading back all runways crossing/ hold short clearances clearly

Never crossing red stop bars

Priority taxiing leaving the checklist for the appropriate time to minimize distractions

Have a clear understanding of the different ICAO phraseologies

Check for traffic before entering a runway



Ensure all pilots are aware of the ATC instruction given

Write down the taxi instruction and compare it with the aerodrome chart

Adopt a sterile flight deck

Progressively follow the aircraft’s position on the aerodrome chart

Look for visual aids and keep track of aircraft location against the aerodrome chart

Read back of clearances in its entirety to minimize ambiguity

Avoid going heads down during the taxiing phases – both pilots actively following the taxiing route

Listen out for other traffic

If uncertain STOP the aircraft and clarify with

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