By now “everyone knows” that today (June 30, 2010) is the day a major change goes in to effect regarding taxi clearances. No longer will a “Taxi to Runway 30″ allow for crossing all runways prior to reaching the assigned runway for departure.
While it may not be published in your FAR/AIM for another year or two, this is a significant change to FAR 91.129(i). It is one of the few regs that I know by number. In 1998 a runway safety committee I chaired recommended to FAA that the rule be changed to reduce the number of runway incursions.
Here’s what I like about the new approach: The red and white runway holding position signs should be treated like stop signs. Cross only when two conditions are met:
1) That you’ve received clearance to cross that specific runway.
2) That the runway is actually clear and safe to cross regardless of the clearance.
This seems so simple and yet pilots (especially GA pilots) continually have difficulty that results in more than our share of incursions. In a few words, distraction and complacency are often why. It’s something we can all work on.
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