2010 Review Shows EU Runway Incursions Climbing

The report says better reporting by member states and a change in ICAO's definition of runway incursion caused the a 25 percent increase in major incursions, according to preliminary 2010 data.

The 2010 European Aviation Safety Agency review includes a specific chapter on air traffic management for the first time, including safety data obtained from EUROCONTROL. EASA's mandate was extended to include air traffic management and airports this year, so the Safety Analysis team provided information and statistics on ATM-related occurrences. This Chapter 7 shows that serious runway incursions rose sharply in 2010, by about 25 percent, according to preliminary data.

But the review says two factors caused this increase -- better reporting by member states and a change in ICAO's definition of runway incursion -- not a sudden spike in serious incidents. However, runway incursions overall have risen from about 50 per million aircraft movements in 2005 to about 110 per million in 2010, it shows.

2010 was the only year in this century's first decade without a fatal commercial air transport accident reported in Europe, either in airplane or helicopter operations, the review states. There were 129 fatal accidents involving light and general aviation aircraft during the year, of which 45 percent involved aircraft engaged in firefighting operations and 14 percent involved flight training. EASA said some member states did not report all accidents in this category, however.

EUROCONTROL, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, is a civil/military organization working to deliver air traffic management excellence across a Single European Sky platform throughout Europe.

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