Aug. 02, 2019

An FAA-produced video series aims to ensure pilots understand the unique runway safety challenges that exist at several general aviation airports. One such video focuses on three issues at Chino Airport (CNO) in Southern California: runway incursion hotspots, wrong runway operations and flight training operations.

CNO has several hotspots due to its challenging runway and taxi configuration. After exiting Runway 26L at Taxiway L, pilots will encounter Hotspot 2. When cleared to cross Runway 21, pilots should continue westbound on Taxiway L and avoid turning right onto Runway 21, where they risk entering Runway 26R.

“After crossing Runway 21, pilots should identify and turn onto Taxiway D or K as instructed by air traffic control,” said Joe Santoro, runway safety program manager for the FAA’s Western Pacific region. “If pilots are instructed to use Taxiway K, but instead turn right onto Taxiway D, they will quickly approach the Runway 26R hold lines. At that high-energy segment of the runway, a departing or arriving aircraft is less maneuverable to avoid an aircraft that overshoots the hold lines.”

Taxiways that lead out of ramps and directly connect to a runway – or where the parallel taxiways of the two intersecting runways cross – can lead to pilots entering the runway if they miss the turn onto their assigned taxiway. If pilots, when coming out of the ramp onto Taxiway K, miss the turn onto Taxiway A, they will end up on Runway 26R.

Pilots arriving at CNO also are at risk of committing a wrong runway landing. The Runway 26R threshold is staggered about 2,000 feet west of Runway 26L. “To avoid landing on the wrong runway, pilots should read back their landing clearance and visually identify the correct runway,” Santoro said.

At CNO, which is a busy training airport, flight instructors should not wait too long to take over an aircraft to ensure clearances are adhered to. On solo flights, students should say “student pilot” on all transmissions to ATC and should not hesitate to use their pilot-in-command authority by asking ATC for help or clarification or by advising “unable” when necessary.

“CNO has a diverse mix of traffic and pilot experience, including general aviation aircraft, flight training, helicopters, corporate jets and historic aircraft, and we are working closely with all airport users to improve safety,” said CNO Airport Manager Tracy Williams.

Recently, the airport has seen a rise in vehicle and pedestrian deviations (VPDs) into the movement area from the ramp. To minimize VPDs, all yellow hold lines have been repainted to include glass beads and enhanced with black paint, and the airport is raising awareness with its users and tenants to exercise more vigilance while driving or walking and when escorting visitors.

“We all must do our part to continue improving safety, and we appreciate the FAA’s efforts to increase pilot awareness at CNO,” Williams added.