Runway incursions have been a persistent problem in airport operations for decades, both in the National Airspace System (NAS) and worldwide. The deadliest accident in the history of commercial aviation occurred at Tenerife Airport in the Canary Islands. As commercial airliners become larger and airports more congested the potential for major accidents on the airport surface is expected to increase. Runway Status Lights (RWSL) and Final Approach Runway Occupancy Signal (FAROS) have shown promise in precluding this potentiality through demonstrated operational suitability and, for RWSL, measured reductions in runway incursions as cited independently in an audit by the US Inspector General. RWSL will be deployed to 22 airports in the near future. MIT Lincoln Laboratory has recently completed human factors assessments in support of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) ongoing operational evaluations of RWSL and FAROS at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) and RWSL at San Diego International Airport (SAN). The assessments were developed to evaluate the effectiveness and operational suitability of RWSL and FAROS in reducing runway incursions and preventing accidents. The human factors assessments conducted to measure and record operational suitability are presented here. The process established to include human factors research, development, and testing is specifically described.
Theme: Human Factors
Keywords: controller workload, final approach runway occupancy signal, human factors assessment, quantitative safety assessment, runway incursions, runway status lights
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