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Holding Position at Runway/Runway Intersection

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Category: Safety Alert Safety Alerts
Content source: EUROCONTROL Safety Alerts EUROCONTROL

Safety Reminder Message

Holding Position at Runway/Runway Intersection

Date: 29 November 2006 Safety Reminder Message.gif


  • Awareness pertaining to the requirement for the consistent application of the ICAO Annex 14 Standards for the marking of Runway Holding Positions.
  • Additional awareness that, where a runway which includes at least one runway/runway intersection is used for taxiing purposes, the standards for the marking of that runway to indicate runway holding positions(s) with respect to the other runway, are described in Annex 14. Where such markings are not applied, ATC must be made fully aware that aircraft/vehicles may not be instructed to hold short of the runway in question.

What we have been Informed by European ANSP

  • “Runway X crosses the threshold of runway Y. The last 1500 metres of runway X was closed for work in progress. The end of the available runway length of runway X, a few metres north of the threshold of runway Y, was marked with red obstacle lights. Runway Y was used for both landings and departures. It was after dawn.
Illustration of RWY X and RWY Y
  • Departing aircraft D1 received clearance to hold short of runway Y. Aircraft D1 considered the red obstacle lights to be a Stop Bar and entered RWY Y. Seeing landing aircraft A3 on short finals, aircraft D1 crossed runway Y at the threshold, ran over the red obstacle lights and stopped behind them. Aircraft A3 landed on RWY Y.
  • Departing aircraft D2 also received clearance to hold short of runway Y. Aircraft D2 also considered the red obstacle lights to be the Stop Bar, entered and stopped on RWY Y in front of the red lights. The second landing aircraft A4 was instructed to make a go around and passed overhead aircraft D2.
  • The edge lights on runway X were ON including the marking of the work in progress area. The lights on runway Y are difficult to detect from runway X before entering runway Y. At the time of the incident no markings, signs or lights were available on runway X, to indicate the holding point for runway Y. The red obstacle lights were considered by pilots to be the Stop Bar!
  • Following the incident a Stop Bar and runway guard lights have been installed on RWY X in front of RWY Y.”

ICAO Annex 14

  • §1.1 Runway-holding position: “A designated position intended to protect a runway, an obstacle limitation surface, or an ILS/MLS critical/sensitive area at which taxiing aircraft and vehicles shall stop and hold, unless otherwise authorized by the aerodrome control tower”.
  • ICAO provisions regarding Stop Bars refer to holding positions, which by definition includes runway/runway intersections; §5.3.19 Note 2 “Runway incursions may take place in all visibility or weather conditions. The provision of Stop Bars at runway holding positions and their use at night and in visibility conditions greater than 550m runway visual range can form part of effective runway incursion prevention measures”.
  • § “A pattern “A” runway holding position shall be supplemented at a taxiway/runway intersection or a runway/runway intersection with a runway designation sign”.
  • § The runway-holding position marking displayed at a runway/runway intersection shall be perpendicular to the centre line forming part of the standard taxi-route. The pattern of the marking shall be as shown in figure 5-7, pattern A (i.e. pattern “A” = Category 1 holding point, authors comment).


© European Organisation for Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) November 2006. This alert is published by EUROCONTROL for information purposes. It may be copied in whole or in part, provided that EUROCONTROL is mentioned as the source and to the extent justified by the non-commercial use (not for sale). The information in this document may not be modified without prior written permission from EUROCONTROL. The use of the document is at the user’s sole risk and responsibility. EUROCONTROL expressly disclaim any and all warranties with respect to any content within the alert, express or implied.