Latest Runway Innovations Help Pilots Avoid Ground Collisions

Two new runway technologies still in the testing phases will help pilots avoid collisions with other aircraft and airport vehicles during both takeoffs and arrivals.


Pilots on an approach to LGB when FAROS is in its fully operational testing phase will be asked to follow certain sequential guidelines:

1. If the PAPI lights are flashing while on final approach above the contact height of 500 feet above ground level, continue the approach with heightened awareness of conflicting traffic on the runway.

2. If the PAPI lights are flashing as the aircraft reaches the contact height, contact ATC about the flashing lights, and prepare for a possible go- around.

3. If there is no response from ATC, or if a response is given that does not give assurance that the runway will be clear, execute a go-around procedure as per the aircraft flight manual or company procedures, advise ATC of the situation and request further instructions. If ATC indicates that the runway will be clear, continue a normal approach and landing.

The FAA makes a couple more side notes. A steady (non-flashing) PAPI signal will not guarantee that the runway is clear, and it will remain the pilot's responsibility to make sure there are no obstructions. The system will also be activated, of course, when aircraft use the runway for takeoffs. Unless there are other safety concerns, departing pilots who see the flashing PAPI lights should continue their takeoff procedures, and should not contact ATC. The lights will stop flashing once the aircraft takes off and is beyond the FAROS activation zones.

More information on FAROS, including a survey form for pilots who land at Long Beach during the evaluation, is at http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/aircraft_aviation/run_safe/faros/ ?CFID=20229207&CFTOKEN=28106384.

>>Contacts: Jim Patterson, Hughes Center, (609) 485-4989, jim.patterson@faa.gov; Fred Pena, Long Beach Airport, (562) 570-2632, fred_pena@longbeach.gov

[Copyright 2006 Access Intelligence, LLC. All rights reserved.]

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