Modelling the location and consequences of aircraft accidents

Following the completion of two projects funded by the UK EPSRC and two for the Airports Cooperative Research Program, ACRP (2008, 2011), this paper aims to summarise the work on the location and consequence models . The projects overall focused on the development of an improved airport risk assessment methodology aimed at assessing risks related to aircraft accidents at and in the vicinity of airports and managing Runway Safety Areas (RSAs) as a risk mitigation measure. The improved methodology is more quantitative, risk-sensitive, flexible and transparent than traditional risk assessment approaches. As such, it contributes to the implementation of Safety Management Systems at airports, as stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The innovative elements of this research are two-fold. First, an accident database covering undershoots, overruns, and veer-off crashes close to runways at airports has been compiled and data on incidents has been added. Second, accident frequency models have been developed, for example, identifying the contribution of influencing factors such as variations in meteorological conditions. To allow airport risk to then be calculated entails comparing these cases with those contained in a ‘normal operations database’ where no accidents have been recorded but where the influencing factors are also known. Subsequent models have examined the location of the accidents and their consequences. It is this work that is the focus of this paper. Future work will focus on improving these aspects of the modelling and the consequences of crashes more than 2000 ft. but less than 10 miles from a runway end as well as impacts on third parties.