Pro Resource: Runway Excursions are one of the ‘7 deadly things’ in Aviation

Competencies: Flight Path Management (Manual and Automation), Situational Awareness, Application of Procedures, Knowledge

REs need stopping

Rather literally in fact. They remain one of the top incidents/accidents in aviation, and arguably one of the most preventable.

Common factors leading to runway excursions are:

  • Unstabilised approaches: These can lead to high speed landings, long touchdowns or abnormal runway contact which are primary factors in runway excursions
  • Incorrect performance considerations: Failure to calculate for actual conditions or to recalculate for change in runway or intersection
  • Lack of awareness in changing environmental conditions: Changing wind, visibility, contamination or surface condition, aircraft de-icing requirements
  • Lack of best practices employed for contaminated runway operations: Lack of SOPs, utilising guidance and SARPs
  • TEM: Briefing, awareness and mitigation for threats and errors such as 2D approaches, steep approaches, flare and touchdown technique etc.
  • Landing fixation: Loss of capacity leading to a fixation on landing/ missing of cues that the approach or landing may be unsafe
  • Mechanical Failure: Performance calculations remain critical. Awareness and use of EWAS equipped runways

Add it into training/CRM

Discussion on runway excursions, the main factors leading to them and ways to prevent these can be brought into training sessions. The Resources section provides official publications, you might also consider some of the following:

  • Discussion on primary factors: Ask crew to work in groups, listing the main reasons why they think excursions might occur.
    • Follow up discussion should be on presentation
    • Encourage real experiences and shared insights
  • GRF: Provide resources and explanations on GRF and winer ops considerations
  • Stabilised Approached: Ensure your operator stabilisation criteria is well defined and clear:
    • A guide to stable approach criteria, requirements and gates
  • Airfield Briefings: Providing airfield briefings or a means of highlighting possible threats that might lead to unstable approaches to crew. For example:
    • Steeper than normal glideslopes
    • Low platform altitudes
    • Airports where ATC shortcuts and ATC keeping aircraft high on arrival
    • Environmental factors such as prevailing tailwinds
  • Review and learn: Using accidents investigation report summaries to demonstrate the risks:


There are multiple resources available which can be utilised within your operation – sharing with crew, including into training, or using within your risk analysis processes:

  • Global Reporting Format: This was introduced in 2021 and redefines how runway surface conditions are reported.
    • An ICAO presentation on GRF can be found here
    • The ICAO Runway Condition Assessment Matrix is here
  • FAA TALPA: The FAA’s answer to GRF – takeoff and landing performance assessment – info can be found here
  • ICAO/Flight Safety Foundation Presentation: Presentation on runway excursions and how to reduce the risk is available here
  • ICAO/Emirates: Presentation on stable approaches and stable approach criteria can be read here


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