Canada Pearson airport tackles threat of runway collisions

05:10  12 august  2017
05:10  12 august  2017 Source:   Toronto Star

Pearson airport suffers another close call on a runway

  Pearson airport suffers another close call on a runway OTTAWA—A U.S. regional jet, same runways at Pearson — and a quick radio warning from an air traffic controller to prevent a close call.Safety officials are probing yet another runway incursion that happened Monday at Canada’s busiest airport, a virtual carbon copy of past incidents that have spurred a review of runway operations by the Transportation Safety Board.“Again, very similar to the other incursions,” Ewan Tasker, the safety board’s regional manager for air investigations, said Tuesday.In Monday’s incident, an Embraer 175 regional jet operated by Republic Airline, had landed on runway 24 left around 6:35 p.m. after a flight from Newark, N.J.

Pearson airport says improved signs, lighting and awareness campaign will help reduce risk.

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The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has launched a special review of operations at Pearson airport after a rash of runway incursions. © Marcus Oleniuk The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has launched a special review of operations at Pearson airport after a rash of runway incursions. OTTAWA—The operator of Pearson International Airport says it’s taken steps to reduce the risk of runway collisions with improved signage and lighting to better guide pilots and will be mounting a fresh appeal to U.S. air carriers to be more vigilant when operating at Canada’s busiest airport.

A rash of runway incursions — when a vehicle or aircraft inadvertently enters a runway — has spurred the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to launch a special review of operations at Pearson.

25 close calls on Pearson runways in 5 years, says safety board amid investigation

  25 close calls on Pearson runways in 5 years, says safety board amid investigation 25 close calls on Pearson runways in 5 years, says safety board amid investigationThe latest incident happened at roughly 6:35 p.m. on Monday and has prompted a TSB investigation, said Ewan Tasker, Ontario's regional manager of air investigations with the board.

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Both the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and Nav Canada, the private agency responsible for providing air traffic control, say they are supporting the study.

Just this week, a controller — concerned that a U.S. jet wasn’t going to stop as instructed on a taxiway and instead cross a runway into the path of a departing jet — radioed orders to the crew to “stop, stop.”

That incident happened in the very location — the two parallel runways on the south side of Pearson — that is the focus of the safety board’s special review.

During busy periods, aircraft land on the outer runway and then taxi across the inner runway to reach the terminal buildings. But in almost two dozen occasions in recent years, aircraft have failed to stop as instructed on a taxiway, infringing on the protected runway environment.

Some flights delayed at Pearson Airport due to technical problems at Terminal 3

  Some flights delayed at Pearson Airport due to technical problems at Terminal 3 Some flights delayed at Pearson Airport due to technical problems at Terminal 3“Intermittent technical issues with Terminal 3 baggage are ongoing this morning, and will affect some departing flights,” the airport tweeted Wednesday morning.

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In the vast majority of incidents, the aircraft cross the “hold-short” line, which marks the protected runway environment, but stop soon after with little risk of colliding with another aircraft.

However, safety board officials are keen to reduce such incursions, which pose the risk of a catastrophic incident.

The safety board hopes to have its study done by the year’s end. But the airport authority said that the frequency of incidents prompted it to launch its own earlier review which led to changes to reduce incursions.

Those included improved taxiway markings to better show the holding points and new signage, equipped with LED lighting, to alert pilots to hold short of the parallel runway.

As well, the authority has boosted the intensity of the stop bar lighting, located on taxiways to alert pilots to a runway ahead, so they can be better seen during day and night operations.

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  Fewer delays expected at Pearson as weather improves, over 10 flights cancelled so far Fewer delays expected at Pearson as weather improves, over 10 flights cancelled so far Toronto's Pearson International Airport is reporting fewer flight delays and cancellations on Sunday, as compared to the number on Saturday, because the weather has improved, an official says."It's better today. Obviously, the weather is better,"  said Jonathan Bagg, spokesperson for NAV Canada, which owns and operates Canada's civil air navigation service.

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The airport authority also plans to mount a new awareness campaign among U.S. airlines, which appear responsible for the vast majority of incursions on the south parallel runways.

That follows an earlier campaign in 2013, when Howard Eng, the president and chief executive officer of the airport authority, wrote to the senior executives of several American air carriers to alert them to the worrisome trend.

At the time, he said American Airlines — typically regional carriers — were involved in 20 of the 25 incursions. All the incidents were “remarkably similar” with the pilots acknowledging a controller’s instruction to hold short of the parallel runway but not always stopping, Eng said in one such letter addressed to the president of American Eagle Airlines in 2013.

“These incursions represent an important safety issue and ultimately it is the responsibility of the crew to abide by ATC direction,” Eng said.

In his letter, Eng said the design of the parallel runways at Pearson “presents some challenges.”

“The geometry and supporting infrastructure is not necessarily what regional crews flying . . . from U.S. airports are used to seeing,” Eng said.

Unruly passenger forces flight back to Toronto

  Unruly passenger forces flight back to Toronto An Air Canada flight was flown back to Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Wednesday night due to an "unruly passenger." Peel Regional Police say a flight attendant was assaulted during an incident on board the aircraft and suffered minor injuries.

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Visit any of the world-class restaurants at Toronto Pearson to satisfy any craving. Airport parking at off- airport prices; the best value for longer stays is only a fast, free ride to the terminals. Don't circle the airport waiting for someone to arrive.

He encouraged the airlines to incorporate Pearson operations into their pilot training and simulator work as well as pre-landing briefings, when airport “hot spots” — which have the potential for collisions — are reviewed.

“While these improvements have had a significant impact, incursions in this area continue and we’ll be looking to mount this campaign again for continued awareness,” Michael Belanger, director of aviation programs and compliance for the airport authority, said in a statement to the Star Friday.

Nav Canada is spending $3.5 million to expand specialized radar — known as airport surface detection equipment — to better track aircraft and vehicles on the ground and alert controllers to potential conflicts.

The investment will add a third ground radar tower to the two already in operation and should be ready by spring, said Michelle Bishop, director of government and public affairs at Nav Canada.

She said airlines, airports and air traffic controllers have been working together to reduce the risk of runway incursions, including awareness campaigns.

“On runway safety, there’s been a lot done collaboratively across the industry,” Bishop said in an interview.

No one injured after 2 airplanes at Pearson clip wings .
No one injured after 2 airplanes at Pearson clip wingsAir Canada Flight AC1713 made contact with a LOT Polish Airlines plane, LOT046, at the gate of Terminal 1 at about 10:18 p.m., Natalie Moncur, spokesperson for the GTAA, said Sunday.

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