Aviation media advisory 2011

Transportation Safety Board Says More Action Needed to Reduce Runway Overruns in Canada

(Gatineau, Quebec, December 2, 2011) - Today the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) released yet another in-depth examination of an overrun at a Canadian airport with its report into the 24 March 2010 overrun of a Cargojet Boeing 727 in Moncton, New Brunswick. (Read report number A10A0032) Runway overruns are featured on the TSB Watchlist, which identifies nine critical safety issues posing the greatest risk to Canadians. The TSB has focused concern on runway overruns since 2005, when an Air France jet skidded to a halt off the end of the runway at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

“We found that excessive speed, a delayed touchdown, and standing water set the stage for what was to follow,” said Daryl Collins, TSB's Investigator-in-Charge. “Touching down almost a third of the way along the runway, the aircraft hydroplaned and was unable to stop on what remained of the runway.”

“Once we knew this, we studied the risks of landing on wet runways and what needs to be done to lower the risk. This could include improving the information available for controllers and pilots on the landing distance necessary when a runway is wet, introducing grooved runways, and promoting timely communication of weather changes to pilots. Furthermore, in reviewing the recommendations that came out of the 2005 Air France accident in Toronto, we reaffirm our recommendations that crews establish a landing distance safety margin prior to commencing an approach into adverse weather conditions, and that airports implement runway end safety areas (RESA) where needed,” added Collins.

Of note, on wet runways, Canada has 4 times the number of overruns per million landings than in the rest of the world. The Moncton accident confirms that more needs to be done to reduce the number of aircraft overruns in Canada, and it underscores why this issue is on the TSB Watchlist.

Released in March 2010, the TSB's Watchlist is a blueprint for change. It contains the nine critical issues that must be tackled to make Canada's transportation system safer. (Forty-one safety recommendations underpin the Watchlist.) Landing is one of the most critical phases of flight and more needs to be done to reduce the number of landing accidents and overruns at Canada's airport.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053
Email: media@tsb.gc.ca