Airport Maps: Increase Safety, Minimize Airport Incursions and Accidents

Airport mapping technology is transforming the cockpit experience for aircraft of all sizes and missions. Modern systems and airport maps with intuitive, dynamic interfaces are giving flight crews significantly enhanced situational awareness, increasing safety, and greatly reducing the likelihood of airport incursions and accidents.

Precision Navigation & MappingTM suite of products is leading the pack, delivering the industry’s most accurate and precise map data along with innovative applications and services to put that data to work. In this post, we’ll look at the safety benefits of adopting airport maps and discuss how Performance products can help you address the full range of needs from flight deck displays to mobile devices to flight simulators.

Busy Airports Challenge Awareness

Maintaining situational awareness during takeoffs, landings, and ground operations is one of the biggest safety concerns faced by pilots. Air traffic volume continues to grow which means busy airports with more aircraft moving on the ground and in the air.

Large, high-traffic airports present the flight crew with an array of distractions and hazards that not only include other aircraft, but also emergency and maintenance vehicles, operations workers, fuel trucks, and miscellaneous airport structures and features. This environment is complicated by complex airport layouts which may be unfamiliar to the crew.

These crowded, chaotic conditions create significant flight crew stress and confusion, elevating the risk for incursions and accidents. Runway safety events are one of the three high-risk accident categories identified in the 2017-2019 International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Global Aviation Safety Plan. Relevant runway safety events include:

  • Abnormal Runway Contact
  • Ground Collision
  • Runway Excursion and Incursion
  • Loss of Control on the Ground
  • Collision with Obstacles
  • Undershoot/Overshoot

Airport maps help address a wide variety of these safety concerns. They provide improved situational awareness in all weather conditions and times of day, giving full awareness of aircraft position relative to hotspots and other aircraft while reducing pilot workload and stress during ground operations. The result is reduced risk of runway incursions, reduced risk of collisions with other traffic or airport features, and reduced risk of taking off or landing from a taxiway.

A Recognized Best Practice

Airport moving maps (maps that continuously update to show the aircraft’s position in the center of the display) have been recognized as a best practice for reducing runway incursions and other runway safety events by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST), and numerous other bodies around the world.

CAST Safety Enhancement (SE) 183 Cockpit Moving Map Display and Runway Awareness System encourages the installation of moving map displays and runway awareness systems. The CAST SE is an outcome of a study of 117 wrong runway incidents. The study identified contributing factors that include crew resource management deficiencies, airport geometry/complexity issues, human factors issues, and communications deficiencies. The study found that moving maps with aural advisory are a “very powerful mitigation strategy” with a risk elimination of 60%.

The FAA for its part identifies Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) with Moving Map Displays as a runway safety technology in its July 2018 Runway Safety Fact Sheet. FAA Advisory Circular 120-76C, Guidelines for the Certification, Airworthiness, and Operational Use of Electronic Flight Bags provides guidance for operators to display own-ship position, on the ground, as a Type B EFB Application allowing operators to utilize commercial off-the-shelf equipment to help reduce the costs associated with implementing EFBs.

Precision Navigation & MappingTM

Precision Navigation & MappingTM suite of products provides best-of-breed support for a wide range of airport mapping needs. Our Airport Mapping Database (AMDB) offers the highest degree of accuracy in the market today (sub-meter) – 5x better than any other solution. The worldwide database is continuously growing. We monitor the environment for changes and update the database every 28 days to ensure the most accurate and current data possible.

Flexibility and customization are hallmarks of Performance solutions. We deliver the AMDB using industry-standard ARINC 816 and DO-272 feature sets but can easily work with you to support custom formats and unique features to accommodate any application.

Performance MapRenderer is our commercial off-the-shelf software development kit that lets you rapidly prototype applications and transition to production at a significantly reduced time and cost. MapRenderer integrates into your existing solution displaying data on flight deck displays, mobile devices, or in-flight entertainment systems. With MapRenderer you’ll create scalable, interactive digital maps with built-in support for terrain, satellite, boundaries, and points-of-interest layers.

To learn more about Precision Navigation & MappingTM products, see our product page and contact us today to discuss your airport mapping needs.