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Emas Installation At Mangalore Airport Engineering Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Engineering
Wordcount: 5423 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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YP- Eurocontrol Support any engineering device which helps to mitigate risks associated with runway overrun (Page, 2010). Every proposal that is made to ICAO will be consulted with all member states, where each member state has a role to play in consultation and coordination of any changes with Annex 14. Moreover, aerodrome panel collects decides on any amendments.

DH- The main difficulty involved in installing EMAS is not the actual cost of installation, in fact is the question of who funds the actual project?(Quan, 2010). This issue is dealt differently by FAA administer the funding of installations where approved effective through Airport Improvement Programme (AIP). AIP is a program which provides grant to airport operators including private operators to improve their airport's safety and efficiency (FAA, 2010b). The money is raised through taxes on airplane ticket sold to public and taxes on aviation fuel. In contrary, many European airports have a privatised nature of ownership and since there is no government funding supporting EMAS. Consequently, it will be purely a commercial business decision for airport abuthorities whether to implement an EMAS or extend their RESA (Eurocontrol, 2010).

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YP - FAA has a legal responsibility to implement safety standards in all US airports in terms of safety regulation as it is both regulator and navigation service provider and in some cases airport operator which enables it to cover whole air traffic management. FAA is not the aircraft operator but it regulates the aircraft operators. In contrary, many airports outside US find it extremely difficult to decide whether to invest in a several million dollars structure which might be never used or instead invest in runway quality improvements and also focusing on stabilise approaches which they seem to be more effective in preventing runway overrun in the first place (Eurocontrol). Currently EMAS installation within RESA is a fragmented scenario particularly in Europe once the entire eventualities are covered (CAA, 2010b). However various aviation authorities are supportive with the idea if aresstor beds as an effective and efficient mitigator (CAA, 2010b; Eurocontrol, 2010b). Moreover EMAS should be taken into consideration in light of other preventative methods.

CAA - Currently CAA is assisting ICAO with study focused on the touch-down lights particularly for the aerodromes with steep approaches as well as short runways. There will be a proposal to implement a set of lights as it is currently adopted by London City Airport aiming to assist operating crew to initiate a go-around in cases where pilots fail to land within the appropriate touch-down zone (CAA, 2010b). CAA (2010b) suggest that they are contributing to enhance safety margins through a different approach which is to identify risks and accordingly implement preventative measures than investing financially into a infrastructure. However a member of CAA aerodrome safety points out that civil aviation authorities in many European countries are gradually following the footsteps of FAA with regards to promoting safety equipments and procedures. They are starting to introduce themselves not only as a regulator with regards to runway safety which conducts regular aerodromes auditing yet they are initiating to acknowledge and encourage any safety enhancement within aerodromes. It may be true that they do not have the budget like FAA to support safety projects yet they are offering consultations on variety of options available for each airport to consider which they might be unaware of such solutions, aiming to maximise margins of error.

CAA - CAA has always proposed and supported the 240m should be the ICAO standard. Meanwhile the idea of EMAS has been part of the recent debate as CAA are currently putting a paper together to propose it to ICAO in October 2010 which they hope it passed through panels and eventually to the Air Navigation Council (ANC) and by the time it reaches this point, it will be mature document with all different agreements from all parties, however the gestation period for these types of processes may take up to 5 years. This is crucial to focus and study the procedures followed by ICAO before making any improvements to annexes, as they operate on the basis of consensus and it generally takes a long times to collects agreements from most if not all member states.

CAA - According to a runway safety advisor at CAA, who worked with many airports has identied that the concept of capital expenditure in any aerodrome being large, medium or small was revolved around balancing acts between a varieties of competing needs. Moreover, in some airports where there are deficiencies in their RESA, it is still the responsibility of board not the CAA to make the decision which in most cases is the commercial business decision. Unfortunately, there is a deficiency within the current system that suggests at some airports due to lack of financial profitability of some safety projects, the proposed safety enhancement will be compromised with economical issues.

YP - In case of UK CAA enforcing 240m RESA as a requirement for all UK airports regardless of their size just like FAA might be significantly effective in maximising safety margins yet the social cost of such enforcement on society would be destructive, therefore, it is apparent that it is unlikely to happen due to its unfavourable nature.

YP - However this is the gap where IATA's adopted policy of implementing rules could lead on ICAO towards alternative level of compliance. Moreover it is possible that in near future IATA could be setting up an implementing rule which states "with regards to annex 14 RESAs, the alternative means of compliance to the current requirement is an approved arrestor bed" (CAA, 2010b).

YP - There is currently a debate whether aerodromes should declare mapping and charting RESA or EMAS in aeronautical notification publications. This has been raised on the basis of risk compensation where extending RESA is suggested to make pilots less cautious during landing once they know that they have extra space for landing. In contrast, IFALPA (2008) states extra RESA would be effective as it would provide extra braking capacity for operating crew as excursion accidents rate has not improved for the past 20 years (Eurocontrol, 2010).

CAA- Proposals for the inclusion of information about arrestor system will be considered by ICAO in October (CAA, 2010). According to CAA there are currently some airports in UK that are considering to adopt an EMAS at their RESA.


KQ - Currently Zodiac Aerospace is working with ICAO in order to get their support, recognition and approval of EMAS as an effective product and according to Quan (2010) "there will be hopefully an amendment to annex 14 by December 2010, which would state that ICAO recognise and accept the product as an option for airport to meet their RESA requirements." Once the approval is made, other countries' aviation authorities will be more serious about the product particularly after the ICAO requirements has been met.

KQ - Cost of an EMAS will depend on location and the design aircraft type for which the arrestor bed will be installed for, however, a project in US is less expensive than other countries due to the transportation cost such as shipping. According to Quan an EMAS project in US could be between 3-10 million US dollars.

KQ - Even though EMAS has been funded and approved by FAA but every US airport before installation must consider other alternatives such as use of declared distance which reassigns some part of runway as a RESA. This option would certainly introduce operational limitations and also shorter runway promotes lower utility from the airfield. However the FAA requirement is 300m RESA which is only recommendation by ICAO. As there are many airports in US which are limited to meet the FAA RESA requirement, which encourages them to adopt other alternatives such as putting as much EMAS bed as possible in their RSA to enhance their safety margins (Quan, 2010). According to ESCO (2010), the smallest EMAS bed installed in US is about 50m length and 30m width.

KQ - As FAA essentially encourages airports to endeavour and deploy highest "practical limit" of safety (Heald, 2010). According to Advisory Circle 5200.9 (FAA, 2005) every airport aiming to meet the requirement must do a 20 years life cycle values to establish the cost of installing an EMAS on each end of runway and furthermore the airport is then permitted to spend up to the calculated cost value from AIP budget to improve safety.

KQ - In case of Madrid, the EMAS was not deployed to meet the ICAO recommended practice, as the runway had already 240m of RESA beyond the runway strip. However Madrid's airport authority decided to deploy EMAS on two parallel runways due to the operational concerns involved. They two sets of parallel runways, one set are used for landing and the other is used for takeoff.

KQ - Additionally, the landing runway has a safety area which intercepts to safety area of another runway, in essence, there were two safety areas occupying the same space. Their concern was in case of an overrun in landing runway and the aircraft ends up in the safety area that a portion of which intersects the departure runway safety area. Consequently both runways would be closed, therefore, they decided to deploy EMAS within the safety area to prevent the overrunning aircraft from entering the other RESA.

KQ - Based on study conducted by ESCO (2010), the EMAS bed is most appropriate at airports with geographical and physical limitations which constrain them to meet the ICAO's requirement. For instance, a 400ft of EMAS bed is as effective as 1000ft RESA in stopping B737 travelling pass the end of runway with speed of 70knot. Considering the reduction in foot print requirement is promotes EMAS as an ideal solution for many airports worldwide.

KQ -EMAS bed is based on a modular system, therefore, during an overrun only the sections that are used to sink the tyres and stop the aircraft need to be repaired. According to Quan (2010) an estimate price for each block in US market is roughly around 1200 US dollars. Moreover according to FSF (2006), repair of the arrestor bed that brought the 747 at John F. Kennedy International Airport to rest in December 2005 cost about US$2 million dollars, as it stands to the most costly repair known to ESCO.

The most recent EMAS arrestment was outlined by KQ, which was a Bombardier CRJ-200 operated by a regional Jet at Charleston, West Virginia. The aircraft entered an EMAS bed that comprised of 4200 blocks and it brought the aircraft to stop safely, saving over 34 people and only consumed 170 blocks where there is a steep 446ft beyond the EMAS bed (EMAS, 2010). In case of any overrun, the operator of the aircraft is liable for the repair of the airport property as the aircraft has ended up at a point which is technically not suppose to enter. Typically the insurer of the aircraft operator pays for repair of any damage to airport property.


DH - EMAS beds implementation in both China and Spain were conducted according to FAA's policy. However, once ICAO recognise EMAS as suitable alternative to standard recommended RESA, ICAO position will not make any reference to FAA policies.

DH - In essence FAA considers an EMAS capable of decelerating range of aircrafts on a runway at 70 knots, based on the study conducted by FAA that found that 90 percent of aircraft depart the end of runway at 70knot or less. Furthermore, FAA approves such systems equivalent to 305m safety area in US. According to Zodiac Aerospace (2010) every EMAS installation was funded through AIP. However the final stage for any airport upon the acceptance of an EMAS as an effective substitute to RESA that aims to meet the ICAO's requirements is based on financial calculations. The most financial feasible option for airport usually will be chosen, whether it is to install an EMAS, shift or shorten the runway to meet the requirements (Heald, 2010).

DH - Additionally if there is a situation where there are physical constraints that are not practical to remove such as highways, railways and any topographical features that would cause the cost to be so high as to preclude that area, an EMAS becomes an appropriate choice. According to ESCO (2008), airports also tend to deploy EMAS where there have been environmental concerns associated with expansion of RESA such as physical cost of acquisition.

DH - As it was pointed out by DH, China was the first country to adopt EMAS outside US, using it to maximise its runway safety margins at high-altitude airport in Jiuzhaigou (FSF, 2006).

DH - One of the most critical advantages of EMAS over normal RESA is that its predictable static properties as oppose to RESA which could be influenced significantly by adverse weather conditions. EMAS has been designed not to be impacted by meteorological conditions. Furthermore, the performance of an overrunning aircraft on a grassy RESA with length of 240m is unpredictable, as the grass could be wet, muddy or frozen. As the results, even a recommended RESA at poor weather condition might fail to accommodate an overrunning aircraft in case of which the properties of ground's surface have been compromised such that it will not support the weight of the aircraft.

DH - On May 25, 2008, a Kalitta Air B747-200 overran runway 20 of the Brussels Airport, Belgium after a Rejected Take-Off. According to the final accident report by Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU), the aircraft came to halt 300m after the threshold where pilot escape slide was going down to railway bed. There were no fatalities however the aircraft was completely destroyed and broken down in three parts. Although runway 20 meets the ICAO minimum requirements but it does not conform to the ICAO recommendation as the extension of RESA is extremely costly. There will be a serious cost issue since runway 20 is geographically constraint due to the presence of the railway tracks on one end and existence of motorway from the other end.

DH - Moreover, AAIU have recommended Brussels Airport Authorities to consider installing EMAS to maximise the braking effect. Computational analysis conducted by AAIU proves that in case of EMAS in placed within the RESA, the aircraft would have came to halt within the designated RESA and the level of severity to the B747-200 would have been significantly minimised (AAIU, 2009).

DH - EMAS is a new technology and even in US, it was not until 2005 after FAA released Advisory Circle 5200.9 which finally established a policy on its application. According to Zodiac Aerospace, ICAO has started studying EMAS since early 2008 and moreover ICAO revises its annex every 7 years.

DH - From the primary research conducted it is found that EMAS manufacturer will work voluntarily free of charge with any airport worldwide to help them develop a preliminary propose solution as well as estimating preliminary cost of installing EMAS at ends of their runways (Zodiac Aerospace, 2010). For instance it has already been done for 5 airports in India and 6 airports in Thailand free of charge.

DH - EMAS manufacturer states that it was not until 2006 that they felt their product is appropriate and ready for international market, as they are producing third generation of EMAS. The previous generations required high level of maintenance such that for the cases of airports in US which have deployed EMAS before 2006 require to resurface their EMAS bed every 3 to 5 years which could cost them between US $100,000 to US $300,000 (ESCO, 2010b) which is a significant drawback to ownership. Furthermore, EMAS manufacturer were not keen to enter international market prior to the introduction of the most recent generation EMASMAX where it does not have a maintenance intensive nature. EMASMAX bed eliminates large cost of ownership which encouraged Zodiac Aerospace to promote its product more confidently to international market.

DH - Today many airport mangers are reluctant to deploy EMAS within their RESA even though there are significant amount of evidence that supports the effectiveness of such proposal. Currently there are no acknowledgements made by ICAO to support airports which are suffering from lack of inadequate safety margins at their RESA to consider EMAS as an approved and efficient substitute.

DH - EMAS recommends airports with runways having inadequate RESA to benefit from EMAS as an alternative technology. In some countries transportation safety department recognise the effectiveness of such device, however regulator still remains to be reluctant and fails to acknowledge and respond to such proposal.

DH - In April 2008, Austrailian Civil Aviation Safety Administration (CASA) part 139 aerodrome standards were revised to permit an "alternative Engineering solution" to be deployed within RESA (CASA, 2009). They used engineering solution rather than EMAS since it would have appeared to be recommending a manufacturer rather than a safety concept. However, EMAS organisation is the only company approved by FAA to install EMAS beds.

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DH - CASA has completed the project of ensuring all of it air carrier runways to meet ICAO requirements except runway 25 at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport (FSF, 2008). Although RESAs have been adopted for the other five runways fairly simply however runway 25 had been challenged by physical constrains to extend its RESA in order to meet ICAO requirement. Runway 25 abutted a major highway, airport perimeter road and a river which introduced heavy cost issues as the airport authorities decided to build a RESA above the obstructions. According to project manager Mr. Plummer (2010) "the final cost of building the sixth and final RESA at Sydney airport was around $AU100 million" which contradicts with published information on Sydney airport website that states "Sydney Airport's $AU100 million runway safety project is completed on the 1st of April 2010" which cover the cost of extension of all six runways.

DH - In addition, while the construction was being carried out, Airport authority opted to establish temporary RESA for runway 25 by reducing the take-off and landing distance on the 2529m runway by 97 meters (FSF, 2008). The criticisms still remain against Sydney airport authority as they failed to acknowledge the revised aerodrome standard made by CASA which effectively permitted airports to deploy an engineering solution to enhance their RESA safety margins. Having spent over $AU25 million just on the final sixth they still have not reaches ICAO's standard recommended practices, moreover, they could have install EMAS for another $AU6 million (EMAS, 2010).

DH - Having established that, from ICAO's point of view Sydney airport currently meets the standards, however, there is a little motivation for airport such as Sydney to endeavour to reach the ICAO recommended practice particularly if the airport is owned and operated by a profit driven organisation. Moreover, in case of an overrun accident Sydney airport authority will not be in a position to defend themselves if they will asked on what basis they did not try to meet the recommended practice as they failed to deploy engineering solutions according to part-139 to mitigate risks and promote higher level of safety. Certainly it is beyond financial feasibility considerations as they could have invested a few more million dollars in installing EMAS which would driven their RESA safety standard more towards recommended practice than minimum requirement.

The Australian Airports Association reported to the Air Transportation Safety Board that "the Association does not believe a safety case for extending RESAs beyond 90 m in length can be mounted or sustained" (ATSB, 2009).

DH - Currently, ICAO is looking into permitting arresting systems to be installed within runway RESA. In addition, ICAO is focusing to revise runway strip specifications, as of now, only objects allowed in runway strip are navigation aids provided that they are not hazards to operating aircraft. However, once the specifications are revised the outcome might allow navigational aids as well as "aircraft safety systems" in the runway strip. This revision will permit EMAS to be installed 11 meter from the runway end (EMAS, 2010). As DH suggests, "The safety of the flying public and the credibility of our industry depends on making the right choices, and on implementing new technologies. We must choose wisely and we must always choose safety".


According to Morier (2005), the traditional approach to safety management was particularly concentrated on following certain required standards and react after the accidents has taken place which blinded the authorities to look beyond the regulation. They failed to concentrate on how safety margin could be enhanced which is strongly adopted by SMS (Kikland, 2001). As SMS is adopted the mentality and the safety culture existed within the implemented aviation organisation has been significantly improved where management by oversight has been replaced by management insight (Leveson, 2004). In line with this, Kirkland (2001b) states that UK CAA has altered its safety regulation policy from enforcing rules into auditing and mitigating.

Currently there are many aerodrome licensees around the world that fail adopt a SMS to minimise risks to reduce the likelihood of an overrun. A crucial driver in order to implement SMS in an aviation organisation is the general willing of the managers to improve the safety standards considering operational and economical efficiencies in case of adopting SMS (ICAO, 2006).

SMS has a proactive nature which tends to solve and rectify shortfalls prior to an accident. SMS is effectively based on the accidents and incidents reports as well as other daily reports which encounter any unsafe area which could cause vulnerability to the system. once the area with certain level of risk is identified, specific mitigating measures can be adopted according to the level of severity of the risk. Consequently, SMS enables an airport to evaluate its safety standards as it is more transparent and clear to measure (ICAO, 2006).

As SMS is a continuous cycle, it continues to be updated and improved once it is implemented within an organisation, therefore it gradually become a uniform process which starts with risk identification, followed by risk evaluation, implementing mitigation measures and finally monitoring their effectiveness in managing the identified risks (Mitchell, 2010).

According to ICAO, SMS adopted by an airport is defined as;

"A system for the management of safety at aerodromes including the organisational structure, responsibilities, processes and provisions for the implementation of aerodrome safety policies by an aerodrome operator, which provides for the control of safety at, and the safe use of, the aerodrome" (ICAO 2002b).

SMS ha s various advantages to the tradition approach. SMS is based on collecting and analysing relevant factors to monitor and manage risks. This method as it is based on quantitative as well qualitative evidences, avoid the previous influential human judgement. Another advantage of using SMS is it allows the organisation not only to identify yet to prioritise various challenges according to their level of severity (DOT, 2006).

Once the SMS is adopted, the airport automatically becomes more practical in monitoring risks and implementing robust procedures to manage safety (CAA, 2003). Unfortunately, there are still cost issues which prevent an SMS to be adopted by many aviation organisations, particularly in third world countries. This is why the later stage of this report will focus on a cost analysis of installing an engineering device within RESA of Mangalore Airport in India, in order to enhance the survivability of the passengers in a case of an overrun.

Summaryof just SMS

Excursion accidents are not just about an adequate RESA or EMAS, in fact they are involved precision approaches, the ability to stabilise the approach for the pilot and landing on the touchdown zone at the right end of the runway. Moreover, ability to take the most appropriate exit for pilot while having the freedom to taxi to terminal without undue pressure of having taken an exit.

Overall, EMAS is a mitigator not a preventer (Eurocontrol, 2010). It must not be forgotten to invest on the ways which the overrun accident could have been prevented from happening. The very first step must be focused on tracking and identifying contributing factors and how effectively it can be managed to enhance safety margins. However, this thesis focuses on improving safety margins while minimising the severity level of damages post-overrun accident. .

EMAS Financial Feasibility

This part focuses to answer the final objective of this thesis which is to evaluate the financial feasibility of installing EMAS. To study this, a case study is proposed which is based on the most recent fatal overrun accident that occurred in India, Mangalore Airport, which killed 158 people onboard, on the 22nd of May 2010. Air India Express was operating B737-800 which overran the 2450m (8,033ft) runway number 06/24 (Hindustan Times, 2010). Financial calculation for installing EMAS will be structured according to FAA Order 5200.9 (FAA, 2005) however there are some assumptions and estimations in the calculation due to limited data received from Mangalore Airport.

Mangalore's overrun

The accident report is yet to be completed by India's accident investigation unit, however according to Hepher (2010a), the aircraft landed long and over shot the runway and consequently ended up in a steep ravine at the end of the runway. As the aircraft was overrunning the end of the runway, it damaged the Instrument Landing System (ILS) localiser antenna which is an instrument to provide precision guidance to operating crew of an aircraft which is approaching and landing on a runway. Only the damaged caused to the ILS significant delays or cancelled number of flight which took Mangalore's airport authority more than a month to return to their normal/scheduled operation.

The Boeing 737-800 is counted and known as one of the most reliable and competitive aircraft in the current market which is operated by many airline all over the world. It current price in the market is between 66-75 million dollars (Hepher, 2010b). According to Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) (2010) "...Mangalore crash is the worst accident involving 737-800 so far...". In addition according to Ranganathan (2010), "The Air India Express crash was waiting to happen".

The current level of safety standards adopted in Indian civil aviation authority are significantly below the SARPs required by ICAO, particularly regarding the Aerodrome design. Even though there have some changes and amendments made in the regulation in order to rectify some of the issues but "systematic rot is so deep" (Gupta, 2010). Recent country's robust growth promoted rapid growth and need for air travel. India's international market for air travel has tripled between 2000 and 2008 (IATA, 2009) but its infrastructural safety margin are stretched beyond the recommended safe level by ICAO.

Even though the runway 06/24 met the required RESA by ICAO and adequate runway length was provided for B737-800 to land but its adopted safety margins for its RESA did not allow any room for error in case of an overrun or veer-off. As previously mentioned, runway excursions make quarter of air transport accidents and incident (IFALPA, 2008) and yet there is still no unified standard for RESA and installation of safety areas where they are potentially needed to minimise the possibility of runway overruns.

According to an anonymous Indian official involved in aviation, "A disaster was waiting to happen and we have been very lucky to have had no major accidents in the past 10 years,". This is in line with India's director of general civil aviation Mr. Gohain statement in April 2008 which reportedly said that "India had just three inspectors for 10 commercial airlines and 600 planes." (worldaviationjournal, 2010). According to ICAO's safety audit, India was listed as the worst country in terms of "technical personnel qualification and training"(ICAO, 2006).

The crash at Mangalore airport occur just about four after a similar fatal accident was prevented. The aircraft came to halt within designated safety area at Charleston Airport, (West Virginia), where the airport authority installed EMAS to enhance the level of survivability of their RESAs. Only after such disastrous event, Indian civil aviation authority decides to extend the runway 06/24 from 2450m to 2743m where as the result its RESA will extend too (Aviation Week, 2010). However, if there was an EMAS installed prior to the accident not only so many lives would have been saved but many unfavourable costs to airlines and airport would have avoided. Therefore next section will focus on cost analysis of installing an EMAS at Mangalore airport. EMAS is one of the alternative ways which airport authorities could have adopted in order maximise the safety margins. Consequently, the level of severity of the crash could have been significantly reduced if not completely avoided. DP -Believes that if AAI had followed and adopted specific safety measures by studying the accident predictive model which was developed by Wong (2007), they could have saved so many lived but they ignored such safety implementations.

DP- The cost of an overrun accident can be more many time more than the cost of mitigating the risks but unfortunately, cost minimisation has been considered more important than safety maximisation where airports decided to choose an option which offer lower margin error but it costs less.

DP-Pitfield (2010) states in case where there is no adequate RESA is in place, airport authority should also consider closing the runway since there is no margin of an error unless the runway is long enough to extend the RESA without introducing operational limitations to the airport.

DP- Even though the Pilots operated many time to that particular airport, Pitfield states that they are not the main people to be blamed. The most destructive factor is the some shortfalls of present airport safety area regulations which are not uniformly monitored around the world. However the existing shortfalls in the present RESA regulation are gradually improved by introduction of Safety Management System (SMS) (Pitfield, 2010). However he still believes that there would be still institutional infrastructural constraints on implementing RESA from an aerodrome perspective.

EMAS Installation Cost at Mangalore Airport

The financial feasibility is considered vital, since it is one the most effective alternative options for airports particularly facing geographical limitations, consequently they are constraints by terrains or obstacles to extend their RESA. There are number of ways to calculate EMAS installation cost, however the most recommended way is followed by a guideline produced by FAA Order 5200.9 and EMAS manufacturer (Zodiac Aerospace). Airport Authority of India (AAI) agreed to provide the author up-to-date information regarding runway 06/24 to estimate the cost of installing an EMAS at both ends of the runway.

In order to calculate the cost certain factors specific to the airport must be considered;

EMAS must be capable of safely bringing a DESIGN/CRITICAL aircraft (which is in most cases the most frequent and heaviest aircraft that uses the runway) overrunning the threshold (end of runway) with a speed of 70 knots. The accident investigation unit has not yet reported the speed which B737-800 overran the end of runway at Mangalore airp


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