Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Public Policy and Administration

Advisor

Ernesto Escobedo

Abstract

During the last decade, the number of runway incursions at airports in the United States and worldwide has increased. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed the Runway Safety Program (RSP) to address these concerns and improve the safety of the National Airspace System (NAS). The purpose of this study was to determine whether the FAA 2009â??2011 RSP has effectively reduced runway incursions at the nation's 5 busiest airports using data from 3 years before and 3 years after the RSP. A comparison group interrupted time-series design was used to determine the impact of the RSP. A public policy framework served as the theoretical foundation for this study. Data were collected from the FAA on runway incursions occurring from October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2014 and assessed for appropriate inclusion criteria. An analysis of the dataset using chi-square and Mann-Whitney U tests established that though the RSP has made progress, it has not effectively reduced runway incursions at the nation's 5 busiest airports. The RSP has decreased the number of runway incursion caused by air traffic controllers, reduced the overall severity of runway incursions, as well as positively influenced when, during the phase of flight, most runway incursions happen. An increase in pilot deviations suggests finding better ways to reduce these type of runway incursions is critical, especially with the forecasted growth in air travel. Continued deployment of runway safety technology is also important. With increased aviation safety, positive social change will occur through enhanced public safety while traveling, safer working environments at airports, as well as economic stimulus resulting from increased aviation activities benefiting individuals and developing countries throughout the world.

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