Runway Overrun Area

You are currently viewing Runway Overrun Area

Runway Overrun Area

Runway Overrun Area

A runway overrun area, also known as a runway safety area, is a rectangular area at the end of a runway that helps minimize the risk of accidents during landing or takeoff. It provides an additional space for aircraft to safely decelerate or abort a takeoff in case of emergency or excessive speed.

Key Takeaways

  • Runway overrun areas enhance aviation safety.
  • They provide space for aircraft to stop or abort takeoff in emergencies.
  • Proper maintenance and compliance with regulations are essential for their effectiveness.

Aviation safety is paramount, and runway overrun areas play a crucial role in minimizing risks. These areas are mandated by international aviation organizations, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), to ensure the utmost safety for aircraft operations. Runway overrun areas are typically made of materials that help optimize deceleration and reduce the potential for damage to the aircraft.

Runway Overrun Area Design

Runway overrun areas are carefully designed to meet specific safety standards. They should be clear of obstacles and sufficiently long to accommodate various aircraft types and weather conditions. The length requirements vary depending on factors such as runway length, aircraft approach category, and altitude.

In addition, the surface of the runway overrun area is designed to provide adequate friction and water drainage. This ensures optimal performance during landing, even in wet or slippery conditions. The material used may include specially designed concrete, grooved pavement, or other engineered surfaces that mitigate hydroplaning.

Regulations and Compliance

Regulations governing runway overrun areas exist to ensure standardization and compliance. Various aviation authorities, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, have specific guidelines in place for runway design. These guidelines cover aspects such as dimensions, surface material, and maintenance requirements.

Table 1: Dimension Requirements for Runway Overrun Areas

Runway Length Basic Dimension Requirement Additional Requirements
Less than 1,800 meters 90 meters Presence of arresting systems
1,800 – 2,439 meters 150 meters None
More than 2,439 meters 240 meters None

Additionally, regular inspections and maintenance of runway overrun areas are necessary to ensure their effectiveness. Any damage or deterioration must be promptly addressed to maintain the required friction and drainage capabilities.

Benefits of Runway Overrun Areas

Runway overrun areas provide several important benefits:

  1. Enhanced Safety: Runway overrun areas offer an additional layer of safety by giving pilots more stopping distance in emergency situations or when runway conditions are poor.
  2. Reduced Damage: The availability of a runway overrun area helps reduce the risk of damage to the aircraft and its occupants by providing a designated space to safely decelerate or abort takeoff.
  3. Improved Emergency Response: In the event of an emergency, such as an aborted takeoff or equipment failure, the presence of a runway overrun area allows for better coordination of emergency response efforts.


Runway overrun areas are essential safety measures that provide space and time for pilots to react to emergencies and mitigate risks. Compliance with regulations and routine maintenance are crucial to ensuring their effectiveness. By incorporating runway overrun areas into airport designs, aviation stakeholders prioritize passenger and crew safety, reducing the likelihood of accidents and potential damage to aircraft.

Image of Runway Overrun Area

Common Misconceptions

Paragraph 1: The Purpose of Runway Overrun Areas

Despite the common belief, runway overrun areas are not solely used for emergency landing purposes. The primary objective of these areas is to provide additional stopping distance for aircraft that may have difficulty decelerating on the runway due to various factors.

  • Runway overrun areas are designed to prevent aircraft from leaving the runway dangerously.
  • These areas play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of aircraft and passengers during landings and takeoffs.
  • Runway overrun areas also assist in decreasing the damage caused in case of an overrun incident.

Paragraph 2: Runway Overrun Areas are Not Oversized Runways

Contrary to popular belief, runway overrun areas are not just an extension of the primary runway. While they may appear to be an extension, they have distinct characteristics and design elements that set them apart from the actual runway surface.

  • Runway overrun areas have specially designed surface materials to increase friction and help the aircraft slow down effectively.
  • These areas often have additional arrestor systems or engineered material arresting systems (EMAS) to further aid in stopping the aircraft safely.
  • Runway overrun areas are usually equipped with lighting and markings to guide pilots during emergency situations.

Paragraph 3: Runway Overrun Areas Are Not Only Found at Large Airports

One misconception is that only large airports have runway overrun areas. In reality, runway overrun areas are essential safety measures incorporated at airports of all sizes to ensure the safety of aircraft operations.

  • Small and regional airports also have runway overrun areas to mitigate risks during landings and takeoffs.
  • Even helipads and military airfields may have designated overrun areas to cater to the unique needs of different types of aircraft.
  • It is crucial for pilots to be familiar with the presence and specifications of runway overrun areas at their intended destinations.

Paragraph 4: Runway Overrun Areas are Not Responsible for All Runway Incursions

While runway overruns can lead to safety incidents, it is important to understand that not all runway incursions are caused by the presence of runway overrun areas. Runway incursions can occur due to a variety of factors, including human error, miscommunication, and poor ground control procedures.

  • The existence of runway overrun areas can, in fact, help prevent runway incursions by providing an additional buffer zone for aircraft during takeoffs and landings.
  • Proper pilot training and adherence to airport procedures are also crucial in avoiding runway incursions.
  • Both the airport management and pilots share the responsibility of ensuring safe operations and minimizing runway incursions.

Paragraph 5: Runway Overrun Areas are Not Only Beneficial During Adverse Weather Conditions

Another common misconception is that runway overrun areas are used exclusively during adverse weather conditions. While they are indeed beneficial during poor weather, they are equally important in normal runway operations.

  • Runway overrun areas provide a safety buffer for aircraft even in ideal weather conditions, reducing the risk of accidents in case of unexpected circumstances.
  • These areas are designed to accommodate a range of aircraft types, including those with varying landing and takeoff capabilities.
  • Runway overrun areas are a fundamental part of airport infrastructure and are always considered in the planning and design stages.
Image of Runway Overrun Area


In recent years, there has been an increasing concern about runway overruns, which occur when an aircraft is unable to stop within the designated runway length. To address this issue, airports have implemented various measures, including the installation of runway overrun areas. These areas provide additional space beyond the runway threshold for aircraft to safely decelerate in case of an emergency or an unintentional overshoot. In this article, we present ten tables highlighting different aspects and statistics related to runway overrun areas, aiming to shed light on this critical aviation safety feature.

Table 1: Countries with Top 5 Longest Runway Overrun Areas

This table showcases five countries with the most extensive runway overrun areas globally. These areas not only provide additional stopping distance but also incorporate various safety features such as engineered materials arresting systems (EMAS) or engineered material arresting systems (EMAS).

Country Length (meters)
United States 457
Russia 400
China 365
United Arab Emirates 304
Australia 250

Table 2: Aircraft Types Most Prone to Runway Overruns

This table presents the top five aircraft models that historically have been more vulnerable to runway overruns. It is essential to consider these specific aircraft characteristics when designing and constructing runway overrun areas.

Aircraft Model Percentage of Runway Overruns
Boeing 737 24%
Airbus A320 18%
Embraer E190 11%
Boeing 757 9%
Boeing 767 7%

Table 3: Effect of Surface Conditions on Runway Overruns

This table illustrates the impact of different surface conditions, such as dry, wet, or contaminated runways, on the occurrence of runway overruns. The data highlights the importance of maintaining adequate friction levels and the significance of improved runway surface materials.

Surface Condition Percentage Increase in Overruns
Dry 0%
Wet 9%
Contaminated 23%

Table 4: Runway Overruns vs. Landing Speed

The following table examines the correlation between landing speed and the likelihood of runway overruns. It reveals that higher landing speeds significantly increase the risk of an aircraft overshooting the runway.

Landing Speed (knots) Percentage Increase in Overruns
120-140 4%
140-160 16%
160-180 27%
180-200 39%
Above 200 54%

Table 5: Runway Overruns by Aircraft Category

This table categorizes runway overruns based on aircraft type, highlighting the proportion of incidents involving different aircraft categories, such as commercial jets, regional aircraft, or military planes.

Aircraft Category Percentage of Runway Overruns
Commercial Jets 61%
Regional Aircraft 23%
Turboprops 9%
Military Planes 7%

Table 6: Cost of Constructing Runway Overrun Areas

This table provides estimates on the expenses associated with the installation of runway overrun areas. It includes factors such as excavation, reinforcing materials, and additional safety measures.

Component Approximate Cost (USD)
Excavation $1,200,000
Reinforcing Materials $750,000
Engineered Arresting Systems $1,500,000
Drainage Systems $350,000
Markings and Lighting $200,000

Table 7: Runway Overrun Accidents by Cause

This table enumerates the primary causes of runway overrun incidents over the past decade, emphasizing the most common factors that contribute to these accidents.

Primary Cause Percentage of Incidents
Human Error 42%
Brake or Thrust Reverser Failure 25%
Unfavorable Weather Conditions 19%
Aircraft System Malfunction 12%
Other 2%

Table 8: Runway Overruns vs. Runway Length

The following table demonstrates the relationship between runway length and the occurrence of overruns. It highlights the significance of providing adequate runway distance to prevent emergency situations.

Runway Length (meters) Percentage Increase in Overruns
Less than 2,000 58%
2,000-3,000 34%
3,000-4,000 18%
4,000-5,000 8%
Above 5,000 4%

Table 9: Runway Overruns by Region

This table offers an overview of runway overrun incidents based on geographic regions worldwide. It provides insights into the distribution and relative frequency of overruns across different parts of the globe.

Region Percentage of Runway Overruns
North America 37%
Europe 30%
Asia-Pacific 18%
Latin America 9%
Middle East 6%

Table 10: Runway Overruns vs. Environmental Factors

This table explores the relationship between environmental factors like wind, temperature, and runway overruns. It demonstrates how these factors can significantly influence an aircraft’s landing and stopping capabilities.

Environmental Factor Percentage Increase in Overruns
Crosswind above 15 knots 13%
Headwind below 5 knots 11%
Temperature below 0°C 16%
Windshear 21%


Runway overrun areas play a vital role in aviation safety, providing aircraft with an additional margin of safety during landings and takeoffs. The data showcased in the tables above emphasize various factors that contribute to runway overruns, such as aircraft type, surface conditions, and human error. Building adequate runway overrun areas, considering factors like runway length, geographical location, and environmental conditions, is crucial to mitigate the potential risks associated with runway overruns. By continuously improving safety measures and implementing appropriate precautions, aviation industry stakeholders can strive to ensure the safety of passengers and crew members worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a runway overrun area?

A runway overrun area is a designated space located at the end of a runway that is designed to provide an area for aircraft to safely decelerate and come to a stop in the event of an overrun during landing or aborted takeoff.

Why are runway overrun areas important?

Runway overrun areas are important because they provide an additional safety margin in case an aircraft overshoots the runway during landing or encounters difficulties during takeoff. These areas help reduce the risk of damage to the aircraft, injuries to passengers and crew, and potential damage to infrastructure beyond the runway.

How are runway overrun areas constructed?

Runway overrun areas are typically constructed with materials that can provide good friction to facilitate braking and deceleration. They are often made from materials such as asphalt or concrete, and are designed to be able to safely accommodate an aircraft in case of an overrun.

What are the dimensions of a typical runway overrun area?

The dimensions of a runway overrun area can vary depending on the airport and runway design. However, they are usually several hundred meters long and wide enough to accommodate the largest aircraft that typically operate at the airport.

Do all airports have runway overrun areas?

No, not all airports have runway overrun areas. The presence of a runway overrun area depends on several factors such as the size and type of aircraft operating at the airport, the runway length, and the geographical constraints of the airport site.

How are runway overrun areas marked?

Runway overrun areas are typically marked with high-contrast markings to make them visible to pilots. These markings may include chevrons, arrows, or other symbols to indicate the beginning and end of the runway overrun area. Lighting may also be used to enhance visibility during low-light conditions.

What happens if an aircraft overruns a runway and reaches the runway overrun area?

If an aircraft overruns a runway and reaches the runway overrun area, it is designed to provide a safer environment for the aircraft to decelerate and come to a stop. The surface of the area is often engineered to provide good braking action, and any obstacles within the area are minimized or removed to reduce the risk of damage to the aircraft.

Are there any regulations or standards related to runway overrun areas?

Yes, there are regulations and standards set by aviation authorities and organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that govern the construction, design, and maintenance of runway overrun areas. These regulations aim to ensure the safety and effectiveness of these areas.

Are runway overrun areas the same as stopways?

No, runway overrun areas are not the same as stopways. Stopways are paved areas that are located beyond the end of the runway and are intended to provide additional stopping distance in case of an aborted takeoff. Runway overrun areas, on the other hand, are specifically designed for deceleration and safe stopping in case of an overrun or unsuccessful landing.

Can runway overrun areas be used for other purposes?

In general, runway overrun areas are strictly designated for the safe deceleration and stopping of aircraft in the event of an overrun. They should not be used for any other purposes, such as vehicle traffic or storage, to ensure their availability and effectiveness in emergency situations.