For Immediate Release
December 12, 2014
Contact: Marcia Alexander-Adams
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is actively working to improve runway safety areas (RSAs) at commercial service airports by the end of 2015. The RSA is typically 500 feet wide and extends 1,000 feet beyond each end of the runway. It provides a graded area in the event that an aircraft overruns, undershoots, or veers off the side of the runway. Many airports were built before the current 1,000-foot RSA standard was adopted approximately 20 years ago. In some cases, it is not practicable to achieve the full standard RSA because there may be a lack of available land. There also may be obstacles such as bodies of water, highways, railroads, and populated areas or severe drop-off of terrain.
The FAA began conducting research in the 1990s to determine how to improve safety at airports where the full RSA cannot be obtained. Working in concert with the University of Dayton, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the Engineered Arresting Systems Corporation (ESCO) of Logan Township, NJ, a new technology emerged to safely arrest overrunning aircraft. EMAS uses crushable material placed at the end of a runway to stop an aircraft that overruns the runway. The tires of the aircraft sink into the lightweight material and the aircraft is decelerated as it rolls through the material.
Benefits of the EMAS Technology
The EMAS technology improves safety benefits in cases where land is not available, or not possible to have the standard 1,000-foot overrun. A standard EMAS installation can stop an aircraft from overrunning the runway at approximately 80 miles per hour. An EMAS arrestor bed can be installed to help slow or stop an aircraft that overruns the runway, even if less than a standard RSA length is available.
As of October 2014, there are two manufacturers of EMAS products that meet the FAA requirements of advisory circular 150-5220-22A, “Engineered Materials Arresting Systems for Aircraft Overruns.” The FAA must review and approve each EMAS installation .
EMASMAX® is the latest, most durable version of ESCO’s EMAS, developed with and technically accepted by the FAA. EMASMAX arrestor beds are composed of blocks of lightweight, crushable cellular cement material designed to safely stop airplanes that overshoot runways.
Runway Safe EMAS is a foamed silica bed which is made from recycled glass and is contained within a high-strength plastic mesh system anchored to the pavement at the end of the runway. The foamed silica is poured into lanes bounded by the mesh and covered with a poured cement layer and treated with a top coat of sealant.
Both EMAS products are located at the end of the runway and are typically the full width of the runway. The length depends on the airport configuration and the aircraft fleet using the airport.
Current FAA Initiatives
The Office of Airports prepared an RSA improvement plan for the runways at approximately 575 commercial airports in 2005. This plan allows the agency to track the progress and to direct federal funds for making all practicable improvements, including the use of EMAS technology. Of the approximately 1,000 RSAs at these airports, an estimated 67 percent have been improved to full standards, and an estimated 96 percent have been improved to the extent practicable, not including the relocation of FAA-owned navigational equipment.
Many of the EMAS beds installed prior to 2006 need periodic re-painting to maintain the integrity and functionality of the bed. ESCO has developed improved plastic seal coating for their EMAS beds. This new coating should eliminate the need for the periodic re-painting.
To date, there have been nine incidents where ESCO’s EMAS has safely stopped nine overrunning aircraft with a total of 243 crew and passengers aboard those flights.
|Date||Crew and Passengers||Incident|
|May 1999||30||A Saab 340 commuter aircraft overran the runway at JFK|
|May 2003||3||A Gemini Cargo MD-11 overran the runway at JFK|
|January 2005||3||A Boeing 747 overran the runway at JFK|
|July 2006||5||A Mystere Falcon 900 overran the runway at Greenville Downtown Airport in South Carolina|
|July 2008||145||An Airbus A320 overran the runway at ORD|
|January 2010||34||A Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jet overran the runway at Yeager Airport in Charleston, WVA|
|October 2010||10||A G-4 Gulfstream overran the runway at Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, NJ|
|November 2011||5||A Cessna Citation II overran the runway at Key West International Airport in Key West, FL|
|October 2013||8||A Cessna 680 Citation overran the runway at Palm Beach International in West Palm Beach, FL|
EMAS Installations with ESCO EMAS
Currently, ESCO's EMAS is installed at 82 runway ends at 53 airports in the United States, with plans to install 12 EMAS systems at 9 additional U.S. airports.
|Airport||Location||# of Systems||Installation Date(s)|
|( ) Bed replaced|
|* Widened in 2008|
|** General aviation airport|
|*** retrofitted bed|
|+ Reliever airport|
|JFK International||Jamaica, NY||2||1996(1999)/2007 (2014)|
|Minneapolis St. Paul||Minneapolis, MN||1||1999(2008)|
|Little Rock||Little Rock, AR||2||2000/2003|
|Rochester International||Rochester, NY||1||2001|
|Baton Rouge Metropolitan||Baton Rouge, LA||1||2002|
|Greater Binghamton||Binghamton, NY||2||2002 (2012)/2009***|
|Greenville Downtown||Greenville, SC||1||2003**/2010***|
|Barnstable Municipal||Hyannis, MA||1||2003|
|Roanoke Regional||Roanoke, VA||1||2004|
|Fort Lauderdale International||Fort Lauderdale, FL||4||2004, 2014|
|Dutchess County||Poughkeepsie, NY||1||2004**|
|LaGuardia||Flushing, NY||2||2005 (2014)|
|Boston Logan||Boston, MA||2||2005/2006 (2012) (2014)|
|Laredo International||Laredo, TX||1||2006/2012***|
|San Diego International||San Diego, CA||1||2006|
|Chicago Midway||Chicago, IL||3||2006/2007****|
|Merle K (Mudhole) Smith||Cordova, AK||1||2007|
|Charleston Yeager||Charleston, WV||1||2007|
|Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Intl.||Wilkes-Barre, PA||2||2008|
|San Luis Obispo||San Luis Obispo, CA||2||2008|
|Newark Liberty International||Newark, NJ||1||2008|
|Charlotte Douglas International||Charlotte, NC||1||2008|
|St. Paul Downtown||St. Paul, MN||2||2008+|
|Worcester Regional||Worcester, MA||2||2008/2009**|
|Reading, Regional||Reading, PA||1||2009**|
|Kansas City Downtown||Kansas City, MO||2||2009+/2010|
|Smith Reynolds||Winston-Salem, NC||1||2010|
|New Castle County||Wilmington, DE||1||2010|
|Key West International||Key West, FL||1||2010|
|Telluride Regional||Telluride, CO||2||2010|
|Palm Beach||Palm Beach, FL||1||2011|
|Martin County||Stuart, FL||2||2011|
|Cleveland Hopkins||Cleveland, OH||2||2011|
|Augusta State||Augusta, ME||2||2011|
|New Bern||New Bern, NC||1||2012|
|Burke Lakefront||Cleveland, OH||1||2013|
|San Francisco||San Francisco, CA||4||2014|
|T.F. Green||Providence, RI||1||2014|
|Chicago Executive||Wheeling, IL||1||2014|
|Reagan National||Washington, DC||1||2014|
Additional ESCO projects currently under contract
|Airport||Location||# of Systems||Expected Installation Date|
|Newark||Newark, NJ||1||fall 2015|
|Key West||Key West, FL||1||spring 2015|
|Kodiak||Kodiak, AK||2||summer 2015|
|T.F. Green||Providence, RI||1||summer 2015|
|Reagan National||Washington, DC||2||2015|
|Rutland||Rutland, VT||1||fall 2015|
|Monterey Regional||Monterey,CA||2||spring/summer 2015|
|Nome Airport||Nome, AK||1||summer 2015|
|Oakland International||Oakland, CA||1||summer 2015|
EMAS Installations Using Runway Safe EMAS
Currently, Runway Safe EMAS is installed at 1 runway end at 1 airport in the U.S., with plans to install 3 EMAS systems at 1 U.S. airport.
|Airport||Location||# of Systems||Installation Date|
|Chicago Midway||Chicago, IL||1||fall 2014|
|Airport||Location||# of Systems||Expected Installation Date|
|Chicago Midway||Chicago, IL||3||2015|