Pilots are responsible for the safety of their passengers and there are a number of ways to increase airport runway safety so that it’s not only safer for those working at the airport, but those aboard an aircraft as well.
Ways for Pilots to Increase Airport Safety
Pilots need to understand the big picture when it comes to airport runway safety. It’s a constantly changing environment that is coordinated by air traffic controllers. The goals should not be to step on any toes and not have your toes get stepped on. Pilots need to be aware of any potential traffic threats and monitor both the tower and ground communications to help visualize the airport diagram. Clear communication is necessary in order to avoid any runway accidents. If a radio is garbled, then try switching radios and make sure that there can be clear communication. If a malfunctioning radio is persistent, then it’s necessary to delay the flight until it can be fixed. Pilots should listen carefully since it’s easy to ignore radio chatter in the background while other checklists are being performed. Maintain a sterile cockpit during taxiing, takeoff, and landing operations to allow for better and clearer communication between the controller and the pilot. Pilots should understand any signs, lights, and markings, in order to avoid accidents. There are runway safety courses available and even experienced pilots may need a refresher every now and then. Be sure to follow procedures and never assume anything since it’s not hard to slip into human error. Pilots can establish and adopt a set of procedures for themselves and stick with them in order to prevent any mistakes. There are many elements in an airport environment that will vie for the attention of the pilot and it can be hard to maintain situational awareness. It’s easy to become saturated with too much information, especially if it’s at an airport that isn’t familiar. Having a list of procedures to fall back on can be helpful.
FOD Removal to Increase Airport Safety
Runway safety doesn’t just end with pilots. Runways need to be cleared off of any foreign object debris (FOD), since this cannot only cause accidents but also be damaging to the aircraft. There are a number of ways that FOD removal can take place, and one of the most effective is using a FOD sweeper. The sweeper can remove any debris from pavement joints and cracks and can be used in all areas. Every part of the runway, including gates and areas adjacent to them, should be swept routinely in order to prevent any FOD from causing accidents. Having an effective aviation FOD program is necessary in order to assign responsibility and make sure that FOD removal is done correctly and efficiently.