General Aviation Safety Challenges
Every airport is unique, and complex runway and taxiway configurations can lead pilots to make mistakes in the air and on the ground, but there are several general aviation safety challenges pilots frequently encounter. The From the Flight Deck videos below address some of those common issues and offer ways to stay safe. Click to view the videos below or read more about them. You can also learn more about From the Flight Deck, check out a map of all current and forthcoming airport video locations, or watch From the Flight Deck videos on complex airfield geometry challenges pilots may encounter.
- Arrival Alert Notice: To address wrong surface events where an aircraft lines up to, lands on, or departs from the incorrect runway, taxiway, or airport, the FAA released Arrival Alert Notices in the May 19, 2022 charting cycle for several airports with a history of misalignment risk. Arrival Alert Notices provide a graphic visually depicting the approach to a particular airport with a history of misalignment risk. There is also language describing the misalignment risk area.
- Hold Short: Crossing or entering a runway without appropriate clearance is a serious issue at many airports. Pilots are instructed to taxi to a runway or a specific spot on the airport and may have been instructed to "hold short" of the runway but they cross it anyway. This video will help you avoid hold short dangers.
- Hot Spot Standardization: The FAA standardized hot spot symbols and descriptions. Hot spots are generally a complex or confusing taxiway or taxiway and runway intersection. These locations have a history of potential collision or runway incursion risk, and require heightened attention from pilots and drivers. Previously, there was no standard shape to designate a hot spot on airport diagrams; they were charted with a variety of squares, rectangles, circles, ovals, and ellipses. On May 19, 2022, the FAA standardized these symbols to three shapes with two distinct meanings: a circle or ellipse for ground-movement hot spots and a cylinder for wrong-surface hot spots.
- Wrong Surface Landings: Parallel runways with staggered thresholds are a leading causal factor that increases the risk of pilots landing on the wrong surface. This situation has occurred even after the pilot has correctly read back the runway they've been cleared to land on. This video reviews these risks and how to avoid them.
- Winter Weather Challenges: Failure to properly prepare for and execute appropriate cold weather airport operations has led to runway incursions, resulting in collisions with snow removal or maintenance operators, and serious runway excursion accidents. This video reviews several risk factors present during winter weather and how to stay safe during the cooler seasons.
- Wrong Airport Landings: Even with today's highly accurate and readily available technology, pilots are still misidentifying their airport of intended landing, often going so far as making an approach to or actually landing at an airport other than their planned destination. The problem occurs with pilots operating both VFR and IFR. This video helps pilots avoid this costly and potentially catastrophic error.
- Wrong Direction Intersection Takeoffs: Many pilots have accepted or requested an intersection takeoff, and then departed in the wrong direction. It can happen to you. This video reviews some common causes of intersection takeoffs in the wrong direction, and some best practices to help you avoid them.
Airport Diagrams, VFR Charts, Chart Supplement, NOTAMS, and Construction Notice Diagrams, etc., are routinely updated. Here are some links to current FAA information.
- Aeronautical Information Services. The Aeronautical Information Services site has a wealth of information and:
- Is the authoritative government source for collecting, storing, maintaining, and disseminating aeronautical data for the U. S. and its territories.
- Develops and maintains all public instrument flight procedures and airways.
- Serves as the FAA's aeronautical charting authority for the development, publication, and dissemination of aeronautical charts and products to support aviation and to meet demand for increased capacity, efficiency, and predictability in the airspace, routes, and airports of the National Airspace System (NAS).
- Airport Construction
- Airport Diagram
- Chart Supplement
- From the Flight Deck Videos
- Hot Spots
- VFR Charts