The Federal Aviation Administration has fitted dozens of airports nationwide with new software program to stop, what it calls, “wrong-surface landings,” the place inbound planes crash into aircrafts ready on taxiways.
As detailed by Axios, the software program known as ASDE-X Taxiway Arrival Prediction (ATAP), and makes use of radar and sensors to detect planes which are lining up on airport taxiways—not runways—and making ready for takeoff. The software program will then notify air site visitors controllers, who can then notify the pilots of inbound aircrafts, thereby stopping unsuitable floor occasions. The FAA informed Axios that there have been 1,641 of those occasions from October 2016 to the tip of 2022, although 83% of these occasions didn’t contain industrial aircrafts.
“ATAP offers an additional layer of security for pilots and passengers at airports with a number of parallel runways and taxiways,” stated Captain Jeffrey Sedin, airport floor surroundings chairman with the Air Line Pilots Affiliation, in an FAA blog post.
The FAA stated in its publish that the ATAP software program has prevented 50 wrong-surface landings because it was first launched in 2018 at Seattle-Tacoma Worldwide Airport. In 2023, there have already been eight alerts. Some airports have an identical software program known as Airport Floor Surveillance Functionality (ASSC), however main airports which have ATAP embody Boston Logan Worldwide Airport, Charlotte Douglas Worldwide Airport, Newark Worldwide Airport, and Los Angeles Worldwide Airport.
“All saves are equal,” stated Giovanni Dipierro, former supervisor of the FAA’s Runway Security Group, within the FAA’s weblog publish. “Plane as small as a Cessna Caravan 208 as much as a Boeing 757 have been despatched round as a consequence of an ATAP alert.”
Whereas planes historically land on runways designated by plane controllers, some have landed on taxiways as an alternative, posing a threat to flights on these stretches of tarmac. Infamously in 2006, a pilot mistakenly landed on a taxiway at Newark Worldwide Airport, when the flight crew mistook the taxiway as a parallel runway. The incident was subsequently investigated by the Nationwide Transportation Security Board.