Landing accidents and runway overruns

This video discusses landing accidents and runway overruns, which is one of the nine safety issues identified by the Transportation Safety Board as posing the greatest risk to Canadians. To find out more about these safety issues, see the Watchlist 2012.

Transcript of the video

Landing accidents and runway overruns

Advancing safety is at the core of what we do at the Transportation Safety Board. Our Watchlist—updated in June 2012—is the result of hundreds of investigations and countless hours of accident analysis. As a result, it identifies the issues that pose the greatest risk to Canadians and our transportation system. Landing accidents and runway overruns are one of these key issues.

Millions of landings occur each year on Canadian runways. Most arrive without incident. But because of our northern climate, rain, snow, ice and slush can affect runway conditions. To ensure passengers and crew arrive safely, pilots carefully calculate the distance needed to land. This means they must have the most up-to-date information about the runway surface. If this information isn't available, landing distance calculations may be incorrect—which puts the aircraft at risk of running off the runway.

And these types of accidents occur more often than you may think. About once a month in the last five years, an aircraft overran a Canadian runway. Roughly half of those overruns involved commercial flights.

We first raised the issue of runway overruns and landing accidents back in 2010 with the launch our first safety Watchlist. But since then, the number of accidents has not significantly decreased.

Thankfully, solutions already exist: airports can install safety areas and structures designed to stop aircraft from overshooting the runway. The problem is that far too few airports have made use of these critical safety defenses, and Canada now lags behind international standards.

The bottom line is: if we don't do anything to prevent landing accidents and runway overruns, passengers, crew and aircraft will continue to be placed at unnecessary risk of injury or damage.

Play a part in advancing Canada's aviation safety record. This Watchlist issue is one that can no longer be left unaddressed.