CANSO launches unstable approach initiative

CANSO, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, has launched an initiative to improve runway safety at airports.

The initiative provides a runway safety checklist for airports and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) as well as key tips for both pilots and air traffic controllers.

A runway excursion is an event in which an aircraft veers off or overruns the runway surface during either take-off or landing. There are many factors that can cause a runway excursion, including runway contamination, adverse weather conditions, mechanical failure, pilot error and unstable approaches. This CANSO initiative focuses on unstable approaches.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an unstable approach was identified as a contributing factor for 17% of accidents between 2008 and 2012.

As well as the key tips for pilots and ATCOs, the material that is being launched includes a revised and updated education booklet Unstable Approaches – ATC Considerations, as well as an app that can be downloaded to smart devices such as tablets and smartphones at

The Runway Safety Maturity Checklist is designed to be used by ANSPs, airlines, airport operators, regulators and ATEL/ANAV providers to benchmark their levels of maturity with regard to managing runway safety risks. The checklist identifies key elements of risk control and uses a series of questions to assess the maturity of an organisation against each element.

The material is based on risk models developed by controllers, pilots, airport operators, regulatory and safety specialists from around the world. This methodology identified key risk areas that might lead to a runway excursion. One of the aims is to improve understanding and working relationships between pilots and controllers so both understand the risk factors involved in an unstable approach and can mitigate them.


Key Tips

o Important Tips for Pilots

o Important Tips for ATCOs

Runway Excursions

Runway Safety Maturity Checklist

Unstable Approaches – ATC Considerations (educational booklet)

• App at


Posted in Airlines, CAAs/ANSPs, News, Safety

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