When an aircraft lands or departs from a taxiway, the wrong runway or the wrong airport this is known as a “wrong surface event.” In the U.S. there is an average of one wrong surface event every day.

To reduce the likelihood of wrong surface events, operators are encouraged to follow these best practices:

  • Familiarize yourself with airports in advance with up-to-date airport diagrams and charts, looking for potential areas of confusion.
  • Use instruments to cross-check runway headings.
  • Use proper phraseology with ATC and actively listen to avoid complacency.

Additional guidance on avoiding wrong surface events is available from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).

Download the NATCA Wrong Surface Airport Card (PDF)

For more information on wrong surface events, contact NBA’s Alex Gertsen at agertsen@nbaa.org.