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An airport is a complex interface between the air and the ground environments, where access must be controlled and separation between aircraft or between aircraft and vehicular traffic must be maintained and optimised. While most occurrences on airport aprons and taxiways do not have consequences in terms of loss of life, they are often associated with aircraft damage, delays to passengers and avoidable financial costs.
This article examines collisions and near collisions whilst aircraft are on the airport manoeuvring areas inclusive of taxiways and ramp areas. The article On-Gate Collisions provides insight into aircraft collisions occurring whilst on, entering or leaving an assigned gate.
Whilst all do not result in collision with an aircraft, the majority of taxiway occurrences involve vehicle operators deviating from a surface movement controller clearance. These "failure to comply" occurrences most usually involve vehicles:
- using an incorrect taxiway
- failing to stop at a taxiway holding point
- failing to stay on the surface movement control radio frequency or ground frequency as appropriate
- failing to obtain a clearance before entering an area subject to control.
In all cases, these actions have the potential to put the vehicle in conflict with an aircraft which, in turn, could:
- lead to collision
- require aggressive braking by the aircraft which could result in personnel injuries. Cabin crew are especially vulnerable as they might be moving within the cabin preforming pre-departure or post-landing duties.
Most of the remaining occurrences are related to one of the following:
- reduced aircraft clearance with ground equipment or obstacles
- aircraft-aircraft collisions or near collisions
- jet blast
- Ground Handling
- Wing Tip Clearance Hazard
- Start-up, Push-back and Taxi - A Guide for Controllers
- Taxiway Surface Markings and Signs
- Runway Status Lights (RWSL)
- ICAO Doc 9157 Aerodrome Design Manual Part 4 : Visual Aids (4th edition 2004)
- Visual Aids Handbook UK CAA CAP 637 (2007)
- ACRP Report 148: LED Airfield Lighting System Operation and Maintenance, J. Burns et al., Transportation Research Board (U.S.), 2015
[[Category:Ground Operations [[Category:Operational Issues