Evaluation of Enhanced Visual Cues for Runway Approach and Runway Safety Areas

In an effort to increase situational awareness among pilots and vehicle operators at U.S. civil airports, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Safety and Standards Airport Engineering Division has proposed updating its standards for runway approach hold position signage and marking based on recommendations proposed by the FAA Approach Hold Workgroup. The Airport Safety Research and Development Branch at the William J. Hughes Technical Center was tasked with evaluating the safety and effectiveness of the recommended signs and markings. Operational evaluations were then conducted at three airports: Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Nashville International Airport, and Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport. It was found that a majority of aircraft and ground vehicle operators agreed that inclusion of the departure runway increased situational awareness and that the signs were understandable at an adequate distance. However, some aircraft and ground vehicle operators did report the additional information made the signs more difficult to understand. This indicates the meaning of the proposed signage and surface marking may not be intuitive for some aircraft and ground vehicle operators without additional training and familiarization. It was found that the level of air traffic control (ATC) workload initially increased at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport after the signage was installed but decreased over time as aircraft and ground vehicle operators became more accustomed to the changes. The survey data show the proposed signage and Pattern B marking increased awareness that stopping at approach hold locations was conditional on explicit ATC instructions rather than mandatory. It is recommended that this signage be installed as a pair of separate sign units with full-sized legend text. The energy and maintenance costs for airport operators are projected to be proportional to the size of the proposed signs installed. It is advised that extensive pilot and vehicle operator education and outreach be conducted prior to the proposed changes going into effect.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 160p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01598883
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FAA/TC-16/26
  • Contract Numbers: DFTACT-10-D-00008
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 27 2016 1:35PM