The Global Reporting Format for runway surface conditions is ready: are you?

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There are now only a few months until the 4 November 2021 applicability date for ICAO’s Global Reporting Format (GRF) for assessing and reporting runway surface conditions. Planning should now be in place, focal points should have been nominated and actions should be underway to ensure readiness for this important transition.

The GRF aims to mitigate the risk of runway excursions, the most common form of runway safety-related incidents, through the harmonized assessment and reporting of runway surface conditions. It comprises a number of elements:

  • An assessment of surface conditions by a trained observer who, using a globally harmonized matrix, allocates a Runway Condition Code (RWYCC) to each third of a runway;
  • Complements the RWYCC with a description of surface contaminant, including type, depth and amount of coverage, using a globally harmonized set of descriptors;
  • Transposes these RWYCCs and descriptors onto a Runway Condition Report (RCR);
  • Forwards the RCR to air traffic and aeronautical information services for transmission to the flight crew by SNOWTAM, ATIS and if necessary radio broadcast;
  • Correlating the RCR with aircraft performance data by the flight crew, enabling them to calculate their takeoff or landing performance;
  • A facility for the flight crew to provide their own observation of runway surface conditions, confirming the RWYCC or alerting to changing conditions.

In cooperation with our partners, ICAO continues to support States, airports, airlines, and air traffic service providers in their planning and preparations. In particular, a complete set of online training courses is now available, that address:

  • Airport operations staff: developed in cooperation with ACI, this course describes the elements of the GRF, when a runway condition assessment should be conducted, how to conduct the assessment and how to complete the RCR (view course);
  • Air traffic control: developed in cooperation with IATA and CANSO, this course also outlines the fundamental need and elements of the GRF, as well as the impact of runway contaminants on aircraft performance and the role of ATC in transmitting the information contained in the RCR (view course).
  • Flight crew and airline operations staff: developed in cooperation with IATA, this course explains the need and fundamental requirements for the GRF, the end-to-end process, the factors that impact braking and acceleration performance and finally how to use the RCR to assess takeoff and landing performance. (view course).

These courses have been developed with the contribution of key subject matter experts. They provide the required theoretical knowledge which, combined with any necessary practical training, will help to fulfill a States training requirements.  Though the courses are currently available in English, in the near future a course for airport operations staff will be available in French, Spanish and Russian.

ICAO’s GRF web page continues to provide a central repository for all information, including links to the above training courses. To contact ICAO by email, send a message here.

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