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FAA recommends AST technology to help mitigate runway excursions

FAA LogoU.S. FAA confirms that data-based Aircraft Braking Action Reports (ABARs) are the preferred methodology to help mitigate potential runway excursions


“Data-based ABARs are a vital tool in helping mitigate these landing risks. We applaud the FAA for recognizing this and the NTSB for promoting the creation of this technology.” — Joe Vickers, CEO, Aviation Safety Technologies


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA, October 11, 2023 — Chicago-based Aviation Safety Technologies (AST) is pleased to announce that its SafeLand™ Surface Management System enables airlines and airports to comply with recommended actions outlined in the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular AC 91-79B regarding aircraft landing performance and runway excursion mitigation.

In its August 28, 2023 Advisory Circular, the FAA confirms that data-based Aircraft Braking Action Reports (ABARs) are the preferred methodology for measuring and reporting on the braking action of landing aircraft.

ABARs utilize real-time data from aircraft-based sensors about the actual braking friction that those planes experience when landing, especially on wet, icy, or contaminated runways. Data-based ABARs are in contrast to Pilot Braking Action Reports (PBARs), which are based on a pilot’s subjective experience and evaluation of a landing.

When pilots of incoming aircraft have access to both ABARs (science) and PBARs (cockpit observations), they can make better informed landing decisions. When airport personnel are armed with this same deeper understanding of runway conditions, they can better manage runway maintenance, scheduling, and airside operations. All stakeholders benefit from the addition of scientific landing data that is the most precise and accurate available. Every landing is an opportunity for an ABAR to inform stakeholders – especially pilots on the next landing approach – with insight about braking action, deceleration, and runway friction conditions.

FAA Advisory Circular AC 91-79B states:

“A clear understanding of accuracy and precision is important when comparing the relative advantages and limitations of braking action reports which are based on pilot observations (PBARs) and reports automatically generated by systems using aircraft data (ABARs) … ABAR systems provide the highest level of accuracy and precision. ABAR systems most effectively serve as the basis for continuous improvement in the safety assurance process … Recommended Action: Operators should use the information provided in this AC to review and assess the risks associated with operations on wet and contaminated runways and update or modify their procedures, as appropriate, to mitigate these risks.”

The SafeLand™ system with its ABAR reporting capability complies with ASTM Standard E3266, the aircraft braking measurement standard developed by ASTM International utilizing experts from Airbus, Boeing, the Society of Aircraft Performance and Operating Engineers, and the FAA.

ASTM International, the U.S. FAA, Transport Canada, and other industry stakeholders increasingly recognize that data-based ABARs are essential to the accurate, precise, and real-time reporting of braking performance information that can help mitigate the risk of runway excursions.

“Worldwide, approximately 10% of all landings are conducted on a wet or contaminated runway,” says Joe Vickers, CEO of AST. “Multiple runway excursions occur annually, creating threats to passenger safety, unscheduled operating expenses for airlines, and enormous scheduling and operational issues for airports. Data-based ABARs are a vital tool in helping mitigate these landing risks. We applaud the FAA for recognizing this and the NTSB for promoting the creation of this technology. AST is pleased to be actively engaged with a number of airlines and airports to help them bring ABARs into their operating procedures.”

About SafeLand™

AST developed its SafeLand™ data-based measurement and reporting system after years of research that began after the runway excursion at Chicago Midway International Airport in 2005. SafeLand’s Aircraft Braking Action Reports (ABARs) deliver real-time insight into runway conditions based on data collected from aircraft-based sensors. These sensors allow measurement of the precise braking action of landing aircraft based on surface conditions and the impact of contaminants such as water, ice, or snow. These real-time reports can be made instantly available to incoming aircraft, ground personnel, airport operations, ATC, and others. Using this information, pilots can improve their landing decisions while airports can improve their runway management strategies. The bottom line is enhanced passenger safety, more efficient operations, higher runway uptime, and more reliable flight schedules.

About Aviation Safety Technologies

Aviation Safety Technologies (AST) is the world’s leading provider of Aircraft Braking Action Reports (ABARs), recognized by the FAA as the preferred methodology for measuring and reporting on real-time braking action and runway friction conditions. The company’s mission is to leverage science to accelerate the evolution of aviation safety. To date, AST has recorded more than 17 million landings for airlines and airports, enabling advanced data analytics on experienced runway friction. AST is a portfolio company of the Dillon Kane Group, a group of affiliated companies that builds technology solution businesses.

For more information, contact:

Joe Vickers
Aviation Safety Technologies
+1 708-882-6438