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Development of Safety Cases for Flexible Contingent Runways

airsight developed operational concepts and managed the analysis of safety-related aspects for converting parallel taxiways into secondary runways.

Some single runway airports have converted a parallel taxiway into a secondary runway over the last few years, the most famous example being Gatwick Airport: the northern runway (08L/26R) was initially a taxiway. Today, it is declared as a runway and can be used as such when the main runway (08R/26L) is not in use for any reason (e.g. maintenance, emergency). Since those two runways cannot be operated in parallel, is is used as a taxiway in "normal" operations. It only takes two hours to change the configuration.

A practice like this is not defined by ICAO but there are several ways it is referred to in the industry: “flexible contingent runway”, “temporary emergency runway” or “switch-on/switch-off runway”. When the infrastructural development is limited, a such practice can be very convenient, since it enables extensive maintenance works to be carried out on the main runway without having to reduce scheduled operations or to close down the airport.

You can read more about airsights projects related to safety cases for flexible contingent runways on this project page. airsight also offers training courses on Safety Assessments at Aerodromes.

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