FAA has completed just under half of the initiatives it agreed to following a June 2015 “call to action” forum focused on preventing runway incursions, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG) said.

As of November, FAA had completed 10 of 22 initiatives designed to prevent incursions—incidents involving unauthorized aircraft, vehicles or persons on a runway. Two initiatives were canceled and 10 still are in progress, the OIG said in a June 27 report.

Runway incursions have increased 83% in recent years, from 954 in the US federal government’s 2011 financial year (Oct. 1-Sept. 30) to 1,744 in fiscal 2017, according to the report. “While the number of serious Category A and B incidents is relatively low, they fluctuated over the same timeframe, ranging from a low of 7 in fiscal year 2011 to a high of 19 in fiscal year 2016,” the OIG said.

The office noted the Jan. 9 aborted landing of an Aeromexico Boeing 737 at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). A controller ordered the pilots to go around after seeing the aircraft had lined up on the wrong parallel runway, which was occupied by a Virgin America Airbus A320. It was the third such incident at SFO in six months.

FAA’s 10 completed initiatives to prevent runway incursions include measures to educate pilots on signs, markings and other visual aids at high-risk airports and updating a “best practices” list for airport surface and movement areas, the OIG said.

The remaining 10 initiatives call for FAA to complete data analyses and studies related to controller and pilot fatigue, implement new technologies, and include airport construction graphics for all towered airports in Notices to Airmen. Six of those initiatives are behind their originally targeted completion dates.

Seven of the remaining initiatives depend on implementing or testing new technologies. This includes testing and using data communications (DataComm) between controllers and pilots to issue taxi instructions. While DataComm is operational at 57 airport towers, FAA does not expect controllers to use the capability to issue taxi instructions “until 2026 at the earliest,” according to the OIG.

Other long-term technology initiatives include developing and implementing Closed Runway Operation Prevention Device voice recognition technology and exploring new methods to support taxi conformance monitoring efforts.

It remains uncertain, the OIG said, if the mitigation measures arising from the 2015 call to action will prevent future runway incursions. While FAA has a monitoring plan to track the status of the initiatives, “the plan does not tie the initiatives to quantifiable goals or other specific metrics that could be used to determine whether the initiatives are effective,” the OIG said.

The DOT OIG has made three recommendations to FAA: to update target completion dates for the initiatives that remain in progress; to develop “quantifiable metrics” of their effectiveness; and to consolidate duplicative initiatives in its monitoring plan. The agency concurs with all three recommendations, the OIG said.

Bill Carey, bill.carey@aviationweek.com