FAA’s Takeoff and Landing Assessment Expected to Reduce Overruns

New assessment procedures begin October 1.

Snow Runway
The FAA says its TALPA initiative will reduce runway overruns by making it easier to access runway condition information.Dan Moore

High-speed takeoff aborts are an extremely serious, though seldom-practiced, maneuver, as are landings following unstable approaches, with both events tied to accidents and fatalities in a wide range of aircraft. The FAA believes its new Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) initiative will help reduce the risk of runway overruns by delivering better runway condition information to airport operators in a more timely manner. The TALPA effort is composed of more than a dozen previously created resources developed for the airlines, airport operators, pilots, ATC and aircraft manufacturers to help create new procedures aimed at mitigating overrun risks.

Beginning October 1, federally obligated airports will begin using TALPA to conduct the runway assessments and feed those conditions to the industry by using the newly formatted Field Condition (FICON) Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs). TALPA is expected to make it easier for pilots and dispatchers to integrate this fresh NOTAM information with manufacturers' aircraft-specific data to more accurately determine the runway length needed to safely stop an aircraft, either after landing or during a high-speed takeoff abort.

The agency wants operators to realize they’re responsible for developing effective local training programs and SOPs, and for complying with all of the regulatory requirements for the flight. In order to ensure that training and checking during initial pilot certification and recurrent training don’t become mere academic exercises, the FAA believes only focused, scenario-based training and testing will increase a pilot’s recognition of the greater risks of stopping on contaminated runways.

Pilots will be responsible for understanding the operational conditions they’ll encounter, as well as for assessing the impact of those conditions on the airplane’s landing distance. This responsibility includes following company SOPs and/or industry best practices and exercising the highest level of aeronautical decision-making (ADM) to ensure the safety of the flight.

Pertinent TALPA documents are listed here.