National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C. - The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a one-day forum on March 27, 2007, focusing on airport runway incursions and accidents, and potential safety solutions. The Runway Safety Forum coincides with the 30th anniversary of the world's worst aviation accident - the runway collision in 1977 between two jumbo jets at Los Rodeos Airport, Tenerife, Canary Islands. The accident took the lives of 583 people on board two 747s, operated by Pan American World Airways and KLM. Capt. Robert Bragg, the Pan Am co-pilot that day, will recount his experiences at the forum.
The forum will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, DC. Government agencies, the industry and the public are invited to attend. Registration is not required. A live and archived webcast of the forum will be available on the Board's website at www.ntsb.gov.
"Eliminating runway incursions and collisions is a top priority of the Safety Board and has been on our Most Wanted List since 1990. The forum's goal is to rivet attention on the problem and review potential solutions," said NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker, who will preside over the forum.
The scope of the problem, how to avoid runway incursions, educational initiatives and new technologies are expected to be highlighted by panels representing the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Defense, Flight Safety Foundation, Air Line Pilots Association International, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.
The NTSB recommendation currently on the Most Wanted list urges the FAA to "require, at all airports with scheduled passenger service, a ground movement safety system that will prevent runway incursions; the system should provide a direct warning capability to flight crews. In addition, demonstrate through computer simulations or other means that the system will, in fact, prevent incursions."
"The NTSB has investigated several near collisions in the past few years that could have been catastrophic if it hadn't been for sharp-eyed flight crews and luck," Rosenker said.
One of the most recent investigations was a January 5, 2007, incident at Denver International Airport involving a Key Lime Air Metroliner and a Frontier A319. The Metroliner inadvertently entered a runway as the A319 was on short final to the same runway. The A319 crew saw the Metroliner as it descended out of clouds and executed a missed approach. The airplanes missed colliding by about 50 feet.
A meeting agenda will be available two weeks before the event.
Also, industry is invited to participate with display booths to present technologies related to runway incursion prevention. Space may be limited and will be allocated on a first come/first served basis. Organizations interested in setting up a display should contact Mr. Dan Bartlett of the NTSB by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with their specific requirements no later than March 8, 2007. Requests for display space after this date cannot be accommodated.
Technical support details are available under "Board Meetings." To report any problems, please call (703) 993- 3100 and ask for Webcast Technical Support.
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.