Runway Safety represents a safe flight from its start to its conclusion. It continues to be one of IATA's highest priorities as it remains one of the most serious threats to aviation safety.

Information analysis is driving change in the area of runway safety.

Our Runway Safety toolkits and reports provide detailed information to enhance runway safety awareness.

Runway Excursions

Analysis of accident data has identified that the “runway excursion” category, where the aircraft departs the runway during takeoff or landing, is the most common type of accident reported annually.

Runway excursion can result in loss of life, and injury to persons either on board the aircraft or on the ground. It can also lead to damage to aircraft, and airfield or off airfield equipment including other aircraft, or buildings struck by the aircraft.

Runway excursions occur while an aircraft is either taking off or landing. They can be attributed to one or multiple factors ranging from unstable approaches, failure to go around, and the condition of the runway. It is essential that all parties involved (such as Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, Airport Authorities, Air Navigation service Providers) work together to mitigate the hazards that result in an accident.

Our Runway Excursion resources provide useful and detailed information to enhance awareness of runway excursion and their contributing factors.

Runway Safety Action Plan

At the second Global Runway Safety Symposium in 2017, the global runway safety partners agreed and launched the Global Runway Safety Action Plan. This plan provides recommended actions for all runway safety stakeholders—including airports, aircraft manufacturers, operators, states and ANSPs—to apply runway safety enhancement and risk reduction measures, with an overall goal of reducing global runway safety accident rates.

Runway Safety Implementation Kit

This kit has been developed in line with ongoing cooperative efforts to resolve what remains the number one priority for global aviation safety experts.

The Runway Safety Implementation Kit (Runway Safety i-Kit) has been developed in collaboration with IATA, ICAO, ACI, CANSO, ICCAIA, FSF, IFALPA, IFATCA, IBAC, IAOPA, FAA, EASA and EUROCONTROL.
This i-Kit contains Runway Safety references and tools from the Runway Safety Program partners.

​Runway Safety Accident Analysis Report

The Runway Safety Accident Analysis Report (pdf) provides an overview of 2010-2014 accidents occurred in the runway environment area, including runway excursions, runway collision, undershoot / overshoot, tailstrike and hard landing events. This report also identifies causal and contributory factors that may lead to a runway safety event and from which preventive measures can be formulated.

Runway excursions, including overruns and veer-offs, were the most frequent with an average of 18 annually worldwide, accounting for 54.7% of all runway safety accidents and 22% of total aircraft accidents in the period.

Runway Excursion Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP)

The Runway Excursion Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP) is meant to help the industry reduce runway excursions. It complements  the recommendations from these documents:

Unstable Approaches (UA)

The 3rd edition of the IATA Guidance on Unstable Approaches  is the result of collaboration with CANSO, IFATCA and IFALPA, to address the problems surrounding unstable approaches.

The safety data from the IATA Global Aviation Data Management (GADM) accident database shows that the approach and landing phases of flight account for more than half of commercial aircraft accidents with 61% of the 2012-2016  accidents, of which unstable approaches were identified as a factor in 16% of accidents

Continuous improvements to stable approach criteria and policy compliance will reduce the risk of an accident. Other factors of improvements will come from pilots, air traffic controllers and airport staff working together, along with regulators, training organizations and international trade associations to agree on measures to reduce unstable approaches.

UA Risk Mitigation Efforts

Supplementing the Unstable Approaches Best Practices, the Examining Unstable Approaches - Risk Mitigating Efforts report represents the outcome of an analysis project originated by IATA and CANSO with the participation of IATA members, manufacturers, and safety experts, as well as IFALPA and IFACTA, in response to the rise in UA events in the early COVID-19 pandemic.

This report, which contains Part 1 of the Project, covers:

  • Identified issues that can significantly influence the probability of UAs and Safety Risk Assessments
  • Agreed recommendations to enhance stable approaches
  • Results of the survey conducted to investigate the barriers and enablers in the implementation of the  Unstable Approaches: Risk Mitigation Policies, Procedures and Best Practices.
  • The formation of the Unstable Approach Development and Implementation Team to manage the effective development and adoption of the recommendations mentioned in this report. 

This document also contains recommendations addressing:

    • Unstable Approach Development and Implementation Team, (Part II)- A roadmap the outlines the goals of Unstable Approach Development and Implementation Team
  • Aircraft Operators
  • Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs)
  • State/Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs)

Flight Management System

The Flight Management System (FMS), a key component of a modern airline avionics, reduces the flight crew’s workload and enhances safety by automating many in-flight tasks. However, an FMS relies on the data input by the pilot. Pilot data entry errors, especially in performance and navigational data, are potential contributing factors to accidents.

The FMS Data Entry Prevention Best Practices guide helps improve standards of safety across the industry.


Standard phraseology reduces the risk that a message will be misunderstood and aids the read-back/hear-back process so that any error is quickly detected. Ambiguous or non-standard phraseology is a frequent factor in aircraft accidents and incidents.

In an effort to align procedures relating to published altitude restrictions on Standard instrument Departure (SID) and Standard Terminal Arrival (STAR), we collaborated with IFALPA on a survey for airline pilots which resulted in the 2015 edition of the Phraseology Conflict – SIDs/STARs survey report (pdf)

This edition tackles the Phraseology Conflict: SIDs/STARs survey report on potential misunderstanding as an outcome of the survey to identify risks associated with the problem, taking into account the inconsistent implementations of SID/STAR provisions globally – leading to the development of harmonized recommendations that address those risks.

Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers Phraseology Study

Together with IFALPA and IFATCA, we have prepared on-line surveys regarding communication issues and non-use of ICAO standard phraseology. This report presents these surveys results and identifies areas where established phraseology, or local phraseology, has been, or has the potential, to be misunderstood.

> Download the Phraseology Pilots and ATC Study Report (pdf)