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Background

Digitalization of commercial aircraft has opened new ways to improve efficiency of flight operations and safety

How Slippery is the Runway?

Today’s systems to assess the weather impact on runway surfaces and associated braking capability, has shortcomings. The aviation industry has for a long time tried to find better ways to assess and report an aircraft’s ability to stop on a slippery runway. 

 

 

This has been a recurring issue in many aircraft accident investigation reports. The subsequent accident investigation report by National Safety Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to a Southwest Airlines flight that overran the runway upon landing at Midway International Airport, Chicago in December 2005 has served as a further catalyst into find new and  better ways to report Braking Action. 

In the report NTSB states the following:

“Demonstrate the technical and operational feasibility of

outfitting transport-category airplanes with equipment and

procedures required to routinely calculate, record and convey

the airplane braking ability required and/or available to slow

or stop the  airplane during the landing roll.”

Enabled by the digitalization and ability to customize applications

in the aircraft ACMS, Kongsberg Aeronautical has collaborated

with a major US airline in developing and streamlining it's on board

function using the aircraft to assess braking ability during the landing roll.

With a strong focus on runway excursions, still being a major aircraft accident category, US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) later formed an Advisory and Rulemaking Committee on Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment  – TALPA-ARC.  The objective was establish better accuracy and consistency in determining runway conditions to reduce risk of overrun.

The TALPA-ARC initiative has since then resulted in FAA SAFO 16009 , which is now being introduced as The New Global Reporting Format for Runway Surface Conditions (GRF) by ICAO.

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An Issue Revisited