July 14 - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) met with members of the aviation community earlier this week to share data on new standards the agency developed to improve safety at U.S. airports during inclement weather.
Since the implementation of theTakeoff and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) recommendations on October 1, 2016, a more standardized method of reporting runway conditions has produced significant safety improvements. Airport and aircraft operators now share common criteria when they communicate airport conditions and runway friction. The new reporting method includes standardized terminology and a streamlined reporting format that are used for all airport or aircraft operations across the U.S.
The FAA introduced TALPA last October 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 that month. Earlier this week, the FAA presented an analysis of the first winter season of TALPA use that incorporated field condition Notices to Airman (NOTAMS) published between October 2016 and April 2017. During the meetings, industry provided valuable feedback.
The participants 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 forum gave the FAA and industry an opportunity to discuss how to improve the TALPA process for future winter seasons.