Proposed Standard to Help Planes Land More Safely

A proposed ASTM International standard aims to enhance safety when aircraft land in slippery runway conditions. The proposed standard (WK64909) is being developed by the organization’s committee on vehicle-pavement systems (E17).

According to John Gadzinski, the president of Four Winds Aerospace Safety Corporation, the ability to objectively describe how a slippery runway will affect the braking action of a landing aircraft has been a challenge since the early days of aviation.

He says the proposed standard could help improve situational awareness for pilots, dispatchers, air traffic controllers, and airport personnel.

“This standard has the potential to fundamentally enhance aviation and airport safety in the foreseeable future,” says Gadzinski, a member of the committee.

“The most desirable solution has always been for the aircraft itself to report this information in an automated and standardized manner,” he says. “While this seems intuitive to most observers, the technical challenges in creating a standard for such a system have been both steep and overlooked by the aviation industry.”

Gadzinski notes that the standard could help a wide range of public and private sector stakeholders including those in manufacturing, certification, technology development, and government-sponsored research. It could also help commercial aircraft operators identify and manage risk of runway operations through normalized information sharing across various aircraft types and company procedures. Operators could also benefit from integrating more objective data into runway management activities to include ice and snow removal plans.

Stakeholders involved in airport operations, government research, and runway friction are particularly encouraged to bring their insight and expertise to the development of the proposed standard. Become a member at The next meeting of ASTM International committee on vehicle-pavement systems is Dec. 3-4, 2018, in Washington, DC, USA.

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