The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and members of the aviation community met on July 11-12, 2017, to share data on new standards developed to improve safety at U.S. airports during inclement weather.
The FAA reports that since the implementation of the Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) recommendations on October 1, 2016, there has been a significant safety improvement with a more standardized method of reporting runway conditions. Airport and aircraft operators now share common criteria when communicating airport conditions and runway friction, a change that has positively affected various facets of the industry. There is a set of standardized terminology and a streamlined reporting format, which can be anticipated regardless of the airport or aircraft operation across the U.S.
TALPA was introduced to reduce the risk of runway overrun accidents and incidents due to runway contamination caused by weather. U.S. airports, air carrier flight crews, dispatchers, general aviation pilots, and air traffic controllers began using the new TALPA standards in October 2016, and during the July 2017 update meeting, the FAA presented an analysis of the first winter season of TALPA utilizing field condition Notice to Airman (NOTAMs) published between October 2016 and April 2017, and industry provided valuable feedback on what worked and what needs improvement.
Over 500 participants, attending in person or via Webinar, discussed best practices for using the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM) to assess and report field conditions via the NOTAM system. RCAM translates runway contaminants into a condition reporting format that can be used to determine estimated braking action so that airport and aircraft operators can make more informed and safer operational decisions.
The FAA and industry forum provided an excellent exchange of information that will be utilized to improve the TALPA process for future winter seasons.
Update Meeting Briefings and Resources
- Directors’ Briefings
- Technical Center Field Condition NOTAM (FICON) Analysis (PDF)
- TALPA Stakeholders’ Feedback (PDF)