[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 109 (Wednesday, June 7, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 32877-32882]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-5196]



Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Parts 91, 121, 125, and 135

Announcement of Policy for Landing Performance Assessments After 
Departure for All Turbojet Operators

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Advance notice of policy statement.


SUMMARY: The following advance notice of policy and information would 
provide clarification and guidance for all operators of turbojet 
aircraft for establishing operators' methods of ensuring that 
sufficient landing distance exists for safely making a full stop 
landing with an acceptable safety margin, on the runway to be used, in 
the conditions existing at the time of arrival, and with the 
deceleration means and airplane configuration to be used.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jerry Ostronic, Air Transportation 
Division, AFS-200, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591, 
and Telephone (202) 267-8166.



    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) considers a 15% margin 
between the expected actual (unfactored) airplane landing distance and 
the landing distance available at the time of arrival as the minimum 
acceptable safety margin for normal operations. Accordingly, the agency 
intends to issue Operations Specification/Management Specification 
(OpSpec/MSpec) C082 later this month implementing the requirements 
discussed in this notice.
    The FAA acknowledges that there are situations where the flightcrew 
needs to know the absolute performance capability of the airplane. 
These situations include emergencies or abnormal and irregular 
configurations of the airplane such as engine failure or flight control 
malfunctions. In these circumstances, the pilot must consider whether 
it is safer to remain in the air or to land immediately and must know 
the actual landing performance capability (without an added safety

[[Page 32878]]

margin) when making these evaluations. This policy is not intended to 
curtail such evaluations from being made for these situations.
    This policy does not apply to Land and Hold Short Operations 


    The following definitions are specific to this policy and may 
differ with those definitions contained in other published references.
    Actual Landing Distance. The landing distance for the reported 
meteorological and runway surface conditions, airplane weight, airplane 
configuration, use of autoland or a Head-up Guidance System, and ground 
deceleration devices planned to be used for the landing. It does not 
include any safety margin (i.e., it is unfactored) and represents the 
best performance the airplane is capable of for the conditions.
    Airplane Ground Deceleration Devices. Any device used to aid in the 
onset or rate of airplane deceleration on the ground during the landing 
roll out. These would include, but not be limited to: brakes (either 
manual braking or the use of autobrakes), spoilers, and thrust 
    At Time of Arrival. For the purpose of this notice and related 
OpSpec/MSpec means a point in time as close to the airport as possible 
consistent with the ability to obtain the most current meteorological 
and runway conditions considering pilot workload and traffic 
surveillance, but no later than the commencement of the approach 
procedures or visual approach pattern.
    Braking Condition Terms. The following braking condition terms are 
widely used in the aviation industry and are furnished by air traffic 
controllers when available. The definitions provided below are 
consistent with how these terms are used in this notice.
    Good--More braking capability is available than is used in typical 
deceleration on a non-limiting runway (i.e., a runway with additional 
stopping distance available). However, the landing distance will be 
longer than the certified (unfactored) dry runway landing distance, 
even with a well executed landing and maximum effort braking.
    Fair/Medium--Noticeably degraded braking conditions. Expect and 
plan for a longer stopping distance such as might be expected on a 
packed or compacted snow-covered runway.
    Poor--Very degraded braking conditions with a potential for 
hydroplaning. Expect and plan for a significantly longer stopping 
distance such as might be expected on an ice-covered runway.
    Nil--No braking action and poor directional control can be 

    Note: Conditions specified as ``nil'' are not considered safe, 
therefore operations under conditions specified as such will not be 
conducted. Do not attempt to operate on surfaces reported or 
expected to have nil braking action.

    Factored Landing Distance. The certificated landing distance 
increased by the preflight planning safety margin additives.
    Landing Distance Available. The length of the runway declared 
available for landing. This distance may be shorter than the full 
length of the runway.
    Meteorological Conditions. Any meteorological condition that may 
affect either the air or ground portions of the landing distance. 
Examples may include wind direction and velocity, pressure altitude, 
temperature, and visibility. An example of a possible effect that must 
be considered includes crosswinds affecting the amount of reverse 
thrust that can be used on airplanes with tail mounted engines due to 
rudder blanking effects.
    Reliable Braking Action Report. For the purpose of this notice and 
related OpSpec/MSpec, means a braking action report submitted from a 
turbojet airplane with landing performance capabilities similar to 
those of the airplane being operated.
    Runway Contaminant Conditions. The type and depth (if applicable) 
of the substance on the runway surface, e.g., water (wet), standing 
water, dry snow, wet snow, slush, ice, sanded, or chemically treated.
    Runway Friction or Runway Friction Coefficient. The resistance to 
movement of an object moving on the runway surface as measured by a 
runway friction measuring device. The resistive force resulting from 
the runway friction coefficient is the product of the runway friction 
coefficient and the weight of the object.
    Runway Friction Enhancing Substance. Any substance that increases 
the runway friction value.
    Safety Margin. The length of runway available beyond the actual 
landing distance. Safety margin can be expressed in a fixed distance 
increment or a percentage increase beyond the actual landing distance 
    Unfactored Landing Distance. The certificated landing distance 
without any safety margin additives.


    After any serious aircraft accident or incident, the FAA typically 
performs an internal audit to evaluate the adequacy of current 
regulations and guidance information in areas that come under scrutiny 
during the course of the accident investigation. The Southwest Airlines 
landing overrun accident involving a Boeing 737-700 at Chicago Midway 
Airport in December 2005 initiated such an audit. The types of 
information that were evaluated in addition to the regulations were FAA 
orders, notices, advisory circulars, ICAO and foreign country 
requirements, airplane manufacturer-developed material, independent 
source material, and the current practices of air carrier operators.
    This internal FAA review revealed the following issues:
    (1) A survey of operators' manuals indicated that approximately 
fifty percent of the operators surveyed do not have policies in place 
for assessing whether sufficient landing distance exists at the time of 
arrival, even when conditions (including runway, meteorological, 
surface, airplane weight, airplane configuration, and planned usage of 
decelerating devices.) are different and worse than those planned at 
the time the flight was released.
    (2) Not all operators who perform landing distance assessments at 
the time of arrival have procedures that account for runway surface 
conditions or reduced braking action reports.
    (3) Many operators who perform landing distance assessments at the 
time of arrival do not apply a safety margin to the expected actual 
(unfactored) landing distance. Those that do are inconsistent in 
applying an increasing safety margin as the expected actual landing 
distance increased (i.e., as a percentage of the expected actual 
landing distance).
    (4) Some operators have developed their own contaminated runway 
landing performance data or are using data developed by third party 
vendors. In some cases, these data are less conservative than the 
airplane manufacturer's data for the same conditions. In other cases, 
an autobrake landing distance chart has been misused to generate 
landing performance data for contaminated runway conditions. Also, some 
operators' data have not been kept up to date with the manufacturer's 
current data.
    (5) Credit for the use of thrust reversers in the landing 
performance data is not uniformly applied and pilots may be unaware of 
these differences. In one case, the FAA found differences within the 
same operator from one series of airplane to another within the same 
make and model. The operator's understanding of the data with respect

[[Page 32879]]

to reverse thrust credit, and the information conveyed to pilots, were 
incorrect for both series of airplanes.
    (6) Airplane flight manual (AFM) landing performance data are 
determined during flight-testing using flight test and analysis 
criteria that are not representative of everyday operational practices. 
Landing distances determined in compliance with 14 CFR part 25, section 
25.125 and published in the FAA-approved airplane flight manual (AFM) 
do not reflect operational landing distances (Note: some manufacturers 
provide factored landing distance data that addresses operational 
requirements.) Landing distances determined during certification tests 
are aimed at demonstrating the shortest landing distances for a given 
airplane weight with a test pilot at the controls and are established 
with full awareness that operational rules for normal operations 
require additional factors to be added for determining minimum 
operational field lengths. Flight test and data analysis techniques for 
determining landing distances can result in the use of high touchdown 
sink rates (as high as 8 feet per second) and approach angles of -3.5 
degrees to minimize the airborne portion of the landing distance. 
Maximum manual braking, initiated as soon as possible after landing, is 
used in order to minimize the braking portion of the landing distance. 
Therefore, the landing distances determined under section 25.125 are 
shorter than the landing distances achieved in normal operations.
    (7) Wet and contaminated runway landing distance data are usually 
an analytical computation using the dry, smooth, hard surface runway 
data collected during certification. Therefore, the wet and 
contaminated runway data may not represent performance that is achieved 
in normal operations. This lack of operational landing performance 
repeatability from the flight test data, along with many other 
variables affecting landing distance, are taken into consideration in 
the preflight landing performance calculations by requiring a 
significant safety margin in excess of the certified (unfactored) 
landing distance that would be required under those conditions. 
However, the regulations do not specify a particular safety margin for 
a landing distance assessment at the time of arrival. This safety 
margin has been left largely to the operator and/or the flightcrew to 
    (8) Manufacturers do not provide advisory landing distance 
information in a standardized manner. However, most turbojet 
manufacturers make landing distance performance information available 
for a range of runway or braking action conditions using various 
airplane deceleration devices and settings under a variety of 
meteorological conditions. This information is made available in a wide 
variety of informational documents, dependent upon the manufacturer.
    (9) Manufacturer-supplied landing performance data for conditions 
worse than a dry smooth runway is normally an analytical computation 
based on the dry runway landing performance data, adjusted for a 
reduced airplane braking coefficient of friction available for the 
specific runway surface condition. Most of the data for runways 
contaminated by snow, slush, standing water, or ice were developed to 
show compliance with European Aviation Safety Agency and Joint Aviation 
Authority airworthiness certification and operating requirements. The 
FAA considers the data developed for showing compliance with the 
European contaminated runway certification and operating requirements 
to be acceptable for making landing distance assessments for 
contaminated runways at the time of arrival.

Guidance: Existing Requirements

    A review of the current applicable regulations indicates that the 
regulations do not specify the type of landing distance assessment that 
must be performed at the time of arrival, but operators are required to 
restrict or suspend operations when conditions are hazardous. Failure 
to ensure an operation can be conducted safely may be considered a 
careless or reckless operation. The FAA considers it necessary for 
operators to perform such an assessment in order to ensure that the 
flight can be safely completed.
    Part 121, section 121.195(b), part 135, section 135.385(b), and 
part 91, section 91.1037(b) and (c) require operators to comply with 
certain landing distance requirements at the time of takeoff. (Part 
125, section 125.49 requires operators to use airports that are 
adequate for the proposed operation.) These requirements limit the 
allowable takeoff weight to that which would allow the airplane to land 
within a specified percentage of the landing distance available on: (1) 
The most favorable runway at the destination airport under still air 
conditions; and (2) the most suitable runway in the expected wind 
conditions. Sections 121.195(d), 135.385(d), and 91.1037(e) further 
require an additional 15% be added to the required landing distance 
when the runway is wet or slippery, unless a shorter distance can be 
shown using operational landing techniques on wet runways. Although an 
airplane can be legally dispatched under these conditions, compliance 
with these requirements alone does not ensure that the airplane can 
land safely within the distance available on the runway actually used 
for landing in the conditions that exist at the time of arrival, 
particularly if the runway, runway surface condition, meteorological 
conditions, airplane configuration, airplane weight, or use of airplane 
ground deceleration devices is different than that used in the 
preflight calculation. Part 121, sections 121.533, 121.535, and 
121.537, part 135, section 135.77, part 125, section 125.351, and part 
91, sections 91.3 and 91.1009 place the responsibility for the safe 
operation of the flight jointly with the operator, pilot in command, 
and dispatcher as appropriate to the type of operation being conducted.
    Sections 121.195(e) and 135.385(e), allow an airplane to depart 
even when it is unable to comply with the conditions referred to in 
item (2) of the paragraph above if an alternate airport is specified 
where the airplane can comply with conditions referred to in items (1) 
and (2) of the paragraph above. This provision implies that a landing 
distance assessment is accomplished before landing to determine if it 
is safe to land at the destination, or if a diversion to an alternate 
airport is required.
    Part 121, sections 121.601 and 121.603, require dispatchers to keep 
pilots informed, or for pilots to stay informed as applicable, of 
conditions, such as airport and meteorological conditions, that may 
affect the safety of the flight. The operator and flightcrew use this 
information in their safety of flight decision making. Part 121, 
sections 121.551, 121.553, and part 135, section 135.69, require an 
operator, and/or the pilot in command as applicable, to restrict or 
suspend operations to an airport if the conditions, including airport 
or runway surface conditions, are hazardous to safe operations. Part 
125 section 125.371 prohibits a pilot in command from continuing toward 
any airport to which it was released unless the flight can be completed 
safely. A landing distance assessment must be made under the conditions 
existing at the time of arrival in order to support a determination of 
whether conditions exist that may affect the safety of the flight and 
whether operations should be restricted or suspended.
    Runway surface conditions may be reported using several types of 
descriptive terms including: type and depth of contamination, a reading 
from a runway friction measuring device, an airplane braking action 
report, or an

[[Page 32880]]

airport vehicle braking condition report. Unfortunately, joint industry 
and multi-national government tests have not established a reliable 
correlation between runway friction under varying conditions, type of 
runway contaminants, braking action reports, and airplane braking 
capability. Extensive testing has been conducted in an effort to find a 
direct correlation between runway friction measurement device readings 
and airplane braking friction capability. However, these tests have not 
produced conclusive results that indicate a repeatable correlation 
exists through the full spectrum of runway contaminant conditions. 
Therefore, operators and flightcrews cannot base the calculation of 
landing distance solely on runway friction meter readings. Likewise, 
because pilot braking action reports are subjective, flightcrews must 
use sound judgment in using them to predict the stopping capability of 
their airplane. For example, the pilots of two identical aircraft 
landing in the same conditions, on the same runway could give different 
braking action reports. These differing reports could be the result of 
differences between the specific aircraft, aircraft weight, pilot 
technique, pilot experience in similar conditions, pilot total 
experience, and pilot expectations. Also, runway conditions can degrade 
or improve significantly in very short periods of time dependent on 
precipitation, temperature, usage, and runway treatment and could be 
significantly different than indicated by the last report. Flightcrews 
must consider all available information, including runway surface 
condition reports, braking action reports, and friction measurements.
    Operators and pilots must use the most adverse reliable braking 
action report or the most adverse expected conditions for the runway, 
or portion of the runway, that will be used for landing when assessing 
the required landing distance prior to landing. Operators and pilots 
must consider the following factors in assessing the actual landing 
distance: the age of the report, meteorological conditions present 
since the report was issued, type of airplane or device used to obtain 
the report, whether the runway surface was treated since the report, 
and the methods used for that treatment. Operators and pilots are 
expected to use sound judgment in determining the applicability of this 
information to their airplane's landing performance.
    The following table provides an example of a correlation between 
braking action reports and runway surface conditions:

           Relationship Between Braking Action Reports and Runway Surface Condition (Contaminant Type)
                                   Dry (not
        Braking Action             reported)           Good         Fair/Medium          Poor            Nil
Contaminant..................  Dry.............  Wet, Dry Snow    Packed or        Wet Snow, Slush  Wet ice.
                                                  (< 20 mm).....   Compacted Snow.  Standing
                                                                                    Water, Ice.

    Relationship between braking action reports and runway surface 
condition (contaminant type)

    Note: Under extremely cold temperatures, these relationships may 
be less reliable and braking capabilities may be better than 
represented. This table does not include any information pertaining 
to a runway that has been chemically treated or where a runway 
friction enhancing substance has been applied.

    Some advisory landing distance information uses a standard air 
distance of 1000 feet from 50 feet above the runway threshold to the 
touchdown point. A 1000 foot air distance is not consistently 
achievable in normal operations. Operators are expected to apply 
adjustments to this air distance to reflect their specific operations, 
operational practices and experience.
    To ensure that an acceptable landing distance safety margin exists 
at the time of arrival, the FAA, through Operation/Management 
Specifications paragraph C082, for turbojet operations, will specify 
that at least at fifteen percent safety margin be provided. This safety 
margin represents the minimum distance margin that must exist between 
the expected actual landing distance at the time of arrival and the 
landing distance available, considering the meteorological and runway 
surface conditions, airplane configuration and weight, and the intended 
use of airplane ground deceleration devices. In other words, the 
landing distance available of the runway to be used for landing must 
allow a full stop landing, in the actual conditions and airplane 
configuration at the time of landing, and at least an additional 
fifteen percent safety margin.

New Requirements

    The FAA will soon be issuing mandatory OpSpec/MSpec C082, ``Landing 
Performance Assessments After Dispatch'' for all turbojet operators. 
This OpSpec/MSpec will allow operations based on provisions as set 
forth in this notice. If not currently in compliance, all turbojet 
operators shall be brought into compliance with this notice and the 
requirements of OpSpec/MSpec C082 no later than October 1, 2006. The 
FAA anticipates that operators will be required to submit their 
proposed procedures for compliance with this notice and OpSpec/MSpec to 
their POI no later than September 1, 2006. When the operator 
demonstrates the ability to comply with the C082 authorization for 
landing distance assessments, and has complied with the training, and 
training program requirements below, OpSpec/MSpec C082 should be 
issued. OpSpec/MSpec C082 will be available from the FAA by June 30, 
    The FAA anticipates that operator compliance with OpSpec/MSpec C082 
could be accomplished by a variety of methods and procedurally should 
be accomplished by the method that best suits the operator's current 
procedures. Under OpSpec/MSpec C082, the operator's procedures would 
need to be approved by the Principal Operations Inspector and, if an 
operations manual is required for the operator, the procedures would 
need to be clearly articulated in the operations manual system for 
effected personnel. The following list of methods is not all inclusive, 
or an endorsement of any particular methods, but provided as only some 
examples of methods of compliance.
     Establishment of a minimum runway length required under 
the worst case meteorological and runway conditions for operator's 
total fleet or fleet type that will provide runway lengths that comply 
with this notice and OpSpec/MSpec C082.
     The requirements of this paragraph could be considered 
along with the other applicable preflight landing distance calculation 
requirements and the takeoff weight adjusted to provide for compliance 
at time of arrival under the conditions and configurations factored in 
the calculation. This information could be provided to the

[[Page 32881]]

flightcrew as part of the release/dispatch documents.
     Tab or graphical data accounting for the applicable 
variables provided to the flightcrew and/or dispatcher as appropriate 
to the operator's procedures.
     Electronic Flight Bag equipment that has methods for 
accounting for the appropriate variables.

    Note: These are only some examples of methods of compliance. 
There are many others that would be acceptable as determined through 
coordination between the operator and the POI.


    No later than September 1, 2006, turbojet operators will be 
required to have procedures in place to ensure that a full stop 
landing, with at least a 15% safety margin beyond the actual landing 
distance, can be made on the runway to be used, in the conditions 
existing at the time of arrival, and with the deceleration means and 
airplane configuration that will be used. This assessment must take 
into account the meteorological conditions affecting landing 
performance (airport pressure altitude, wind velocity, wind direction, 
etc.), surface condition of the runway to be used for landing, the 
approach speed, airplane weight and configuration, and planned use of 
airplane ground deceleration devices. Turbojet operators will be 
required to ensure that flightcrews comply with the operator's approved 
procedures. In other words, absent an emergency, after the flightcrew 
makes this assessment using the air carrier's FAA-approved procedures, 
if at least the 15% safety margin is not available, the pilot may not 
land the aircraft.
    This assessment does not mean that a specific calculation would be 
made before every landing. In many cases, the before takeoff criteria, 
with their large safety margins, will be adequate to ensure that there 
is sufficient landing distance with at least a 15% safety margin at the 
time of arrival. Only when the conditions at the destination airport 
deteriorate while en route (e.g., runway surface condition, runway to 
be used, winds, airplane landing weight/configuration/speed/
deceleration devices) or the takeoff is conducted under sections 
121.195(e) or 135.385(e) would a calculation or other method of 
determining the actual landing distance capability normally be needed. 
The operator will need to develop procedures to determine when such a 
calculation or other method of determining the expected actual landing 
distance is necessary to ensure that at least a 15% safety margin will 
exist at the time of arrival.
    Operators may require flight crews to perform this assessment, or 
may establish other procedures to conduct this assessment. Whatever 
method(s) the operator develops, their procedures must account for all 
factors upon which the preflight planning was based and the actual 
conditions existing at time of arrival.
    The FAA expects that turbojet operators will likely need to confirm 
that the procedures and data used to comply with paragraphs above for 
actual landing performance assessments yields results that are at least 
as conservative as the manufacturer's approved or advisory information 
for the associated conditions provided therein.
    Turbojet operators will be required to have a safety margin of 
fifteen percent added to the actual (unfactored) landing distance and 
the resulting distance must be within the landing distance available of 
the runway used for landing. Note that the FAA considers a 15% margin 
to be the minimum acceptable safety margin.
    If contaminated runway landing distance data are unavailable from 
the manufacturer (or STC holder if there is an STC that affects landing 
performance), the following factors should be applied to the pre-flight 
planning (factored) dry runway landing distances determined in 
accordance with the applicable operating rule (e.g., sections 91.1037, 
121.195(b) or 135.385(b):

                                                                              Factor to apply to (factored) dry
           Runway condition                   Reported braking  action             runway landing distance*
Dry...................................  None...............................  0.8.
Wet Runway, Dry Snow..................  Good...............................  0.9.
Packed or Compacted Snow..............  Fair/Medium........................  1.2.
Wet snow, slush, standing water, ice..  Poor...............................  1.6.
Wet ice...............................  Nil................................  Landing prohibited.
* If unfactored dry runway landing distances are used, multiply these factors by 1.667.

    Note: These factors assume that maximum manual braking, 
autospoilers (if so equipped), and reverse thrust will be used. For 
operations without reverse thrust (or without credit for the use of 
reverse thrust) multiply these factors by 1.2.

    The FAA anticipates that turbojet operators will be required to 
accomplish the landing distance assessment as close to the time of 
arrival as practicable, taking into account workload considerations 
during critical phases of flight, using the most up-to-date information 
available at that time. The most adverse braking condition, based on 
reliable braking reports, runway contaminant reports (or expected 
runway conditions if no reports are available) for the portion of the 
runway that will be used for the landing must be used in the actual 
landing performance assessment. For example, if the runway condition is 
reported as fair to poor, or fair in the middle, but poor at the ends, 
the runway condition must be assumed to be poor for the assessment of 
the actual landing distance. (This example assumes the entire runway 
will be used for the landing). If conditions change between the time 
that the assessment is made and the time of landing, the flightcrew 
must consider whether it would be safer to continue the landing or 
reassess the landing distance.
    The operator's flightcrew and dispatcher training programs will 
need to include elements that provide knowledge in all aspects and 
assumptions used in landing distance performance determinations. This 
training must emphasize the airplane ground deceleration devices, 
settings, and piloting methods (e.g., air distance) used in determining 
landing distances for each make, model, and series of airplane. 
Elements such as braking action reports, airplane configuration, 
optimal stopping performance techniques, stopping margin, and the 
effects of excess speed, delays in activating deceleration devices, and 
other pilot performance techniques must be covered. All dispatchers and 
flightcrew members must be trained on these elements prior to being 
issued OpSpec/MSpec C082.

[[Page 32882]]

    Under OpSpec/MSpec C082, it is likely that turbojet operators will 
also need to have procedures for obtaining optimal stopping performance 
on contaminated runways included in flight training programs. All 
flight crewmembers must be made aware of these procedures for the make/
model/series of airplane they operate prior to being issued OpSpec/
MSpec C082. In addition, if not already included, these procedures 
shall be incorporated into each airplane or simulator training 
curriculum for initial qualification on the make/model/series airplane, 
or differences training as appropriate. All flight crewmembers must 
have hands-on training and validate proficiency in these procedures 
during their next flight training event, unless previously demonstrated 
with their current employer in that make/model/series of airplane.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 1, 2006.
James J. Ballough,
Director, Flight Standards Service.
[FR Doc. 06-5196 Filed 6-6-06; 8:45 am]