Airports could do better at runway safety, say experts

Airports could do better at runway safety, say experts
Sohar airport Sohar Airport, about 10km northwest of Sohar will help avoid the two hour long drive from either Muscat or Dubai. When operational, the airport will also serve as an alternative to Muscat International Airport. The facility will support the growth of cargo, courier and passenger traffic across northern Oman. Sohar airport is expected to handle 250,000 passengers per year and there will be stands for two aircraft at the airport. The airport will be able to handle up to 50,000 tonnes of cargo per year. Contracts for the initial site preparation, or Phase 1, were let in 2009 to Strabag Oman. The company also secured Phase 2 work, which includes the construction of the new 4km-long runway and installation of aircraft landing instruments. In March, seven local and international construction firms were bidding to win the contract for Package-3 (building works) of the new Sohar regional airport. The companies that submitted technical offers are Carillion Alawi, Larsen & Toubro (Oman), Strabag Oman, Al Turki Enterprises, Galfar Engineering and Contracting Co, Oman Shapoorji Construction Co and Joannou and Paraskevaides Oman. Package-3 includes the construction of a passenger terminal building, cargo terminal and other buildings related to the airport.
Published: 13 April 2017 - 2:44 p.m.
By: Shayan Shakeel

Airports lack consistency in the way signs and instructions at airport runways are displayed which is critical in the conversation on airfield safety is kept to the highest standards, according to aviation officials gathered at the World Aviation Safety Summit, held in Dubai.

"In order to keep airfields safe, flight crews needs a clear, safe and consistent operating environment that avoids confusion," says Andrew Green, Manager Aerodrome Safety & Standards, Aviation & Airports Safety Department at Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA).

Green said that Dubai International Airport is consistent in its runway environment but highlighted reasons why other airports are reluctant to implement best practice, including a lack of a regulatory requirement, cost of implementation, more training being required and in some cases not enough experience to implement. "Most runway incursions occur in good met conditions," he said. 

According to IATA, last year some 3.8 billion travellers flew safely on 40.4 million flights. Flying is still the safest form of long distance travel. However, safety incidents in 2016 increased globally according to its most recent report.

Bhamidipati Srinivas, Head of Aviation Safety, Bangalore International Airport commented that improved communications is necessary to reduce runway excursions. He also called for increased training for controllers and Air Navigation Service Providers as well as improved speed control and clearer information for Automatic Terminal Information Services in global airports. 

David Gleave, a Chief Safety Investigator argued that improved instructions are needed at all runways and that geometry should always be considered in order to improve safety.

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