One Runway, One Frequency, One Language
Runway incursions are one of the biggest threats in relation to runway operations at airports worldwide. Loss of situational awareness by pilots or vehicle drivers and poor communication between controllers and parties on the manoeuvring area can be considered as the main contributing factors. To improve situational awareness, Eurocontrol recommends in the "European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Incursions" (EAPPRI) the use of a single frequency for all movements associated with a runway, using Aviation English. This is referred to as the "Triple One Concept". Knowing what is happening on and around the runway can add a final safety barrier to the system.
|1.3.3||Implement, monitor and ensure the use of the readback procedure (also applicable to manoeuvring area drivers and other personnel who operate on the manoevring area).||Air Navigation Service Provider (lead), Aircraft Operator (lead), Aerodrome Operator (lead).|
|1.3.4||Where practicable, improve situational awareness by conducting all communications associated with runway operations using aviation English.||Air Navigation Service Provider (lead), Aircraft Operator (lead), Aerodrome Operator (lead).|
|1.3.5||When practicable, improve situational awareness, by implementing procedures whereby all communications associated with runway operations are on a common or cross-coupled frequency.||Air Navigation Service Provider (lead)|
Challenges related with the “Triple One Concept”
However, in order to implement the "Triple One" concept, certain requirements must be met that are not always easy to realise. These include increased English proficiency requirements for operational ground personnel, which can pose major challenges for airports considering the variety of conditions in which they are operated. The seemingly obvious safety gain of using a single frequency for all movements on a runway also entails difficulties, such as additional frequency load. For reasons like these, the concept is controversially discussed among European airports. For those or other reasons, the “Triple One” concept is not widely implemented at European airports.
Understanding the current implementation status around Europe
EASA aims to get a comprehensive picture of the current state of implementation at all airports within the EASA scope in order to be able to make a thorough and objective analysis of the safety gains and possible risks or operational disadvantages. For this purpose, EASA has initiated a call for tender to investigate the current status of the implementation of the individual elements of the "Triple One" concept in a study. Based on the study results and its recommendation, the European legislator will subsequently decide to what extent the "Triple One" concept should be taken into account in future legislation.
airsight was commissioned to conduct the study in cooperation with Brussels Airport Company. Broad stakeholder participation is a central part of the analysis to understand the different implementation options of "Triple One", advantages and disadvantages as well as potential impact, e.g. on costs and the background of implemented concepts. A series of questionnaires, interviews and workshops will be part of the study, involving. ACI Europe is assisting as one of the partners.
Representatives of airport operators, aviation authorities, air navigation service providers as well as air traffic controllers and pilots are invited to share their view and experiences to actively contribute to a well-founded result of the study. Only this way, results can be achieved that reflect the reality and the actual benefits and risks and lead to a meaningful and accepted implementation policy by EASA. If you, as a representative of one of the groups mentioned, would like to express your opinion on the topic and contribute to a well-founded result of the study, we would be pleased to hear from you via e-mail.
The project funding is provided by the EU programme ‘Horizon Europe’.
Link to EASA website: Implementation of the Aerodrome ‘Triple One’ Concept | EASA (europa.eu)