Sept. 10, 2014
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) plans to take additional steps to identify where Taxiway K begins and the FBO ramp ends, following several recent runway incursions during which pilots leaving the ramp mistakenly thought that Taxiway K was part of the ramp and Runway 17/35 was Taxiway K.
The incursions highlight the need for pilots to pay special attention at the K2 intersection in front of the general aviation ramp on the east side of the airport.
According to Jeff Hansen, president of the Utah Business Aviation Association (UBAA), his organization is actively engaged in this issue. “UBAA welcomes the opportunity for future dialogue between the airport, the FAA, and our industry stakeholders to improve pilot awareness of this critical safety issue,” Hansen said.
There has been a history of runway incursions at K2, but the most recent incidents were serious enough to cause the Salt Lake City Department of Airports to temporarily close Taxiway K2 following the incursions onto Runway 17/35. The intersection has subsequently been re-opened after some mitigation measures were put in place.
The current layout of Taxiway K2 includes mandatory lighting, signage and markings on the pavement, as well as elevated runway guard lights, hold short and enhanced taxiway centerline markings, runway designation markings and lighted signage. In addition, several years ago an “island” was painted between the FBO ramp and Taxiway K2. The island includes not only painted markings, but also elevated reflective markers to segregate Taxiway K from the ramp.
A “Hot Spot (No. 3)” has been indicated on all SLC taxi diagrams and the airport plans to paint more signage on the ramp at Spot 2830 to help pilots identify Taxiway K when leaving the TAC Air ramp.
The airport hopes these measures will mitigate the incursion problem, but if it persists, closing Taxiway K2 permanently may be required.
Pilots operating at SLC are urged to reference the Jeppesen Airport Information Charts depicting the airport’s hot spots, and to pay particular attention when operating from the TAC Air FBO ramp at SLC in order to prevent future runway incursions and potential pilot deviations.