Van Nuys Airport (VNY), ranked one of the world’s busiest general aviation airports, reported zero runway and taxiway incursions in 2018.
The announcement headlined a report on VNY safety and security initiatives presented at a meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners held Feb. 7, 2019, at Van Nuys City Hall, according to airport officials.
The prevention of runway and taxiway incursions, classified by the FAA as a type of vehicle/pedestrian deviation (V/PD), has been identified as a critical safety and security issue at airports across the nation.
“With more than 260,000 takeoffs and landings in 2018, Van Nuys Airport attracts a high level of aircraft operations and diverse business activities on a daily basis,” said Deborah Flint, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports, which operates VNY and Los Angeles International Airport. “VNY’s tremendous success is the result of close collaboration among airport management, tenants, users and operators to implement ambitious and industry-leading safety and security programs. These efforts create a safer environment for passengers and flight crew, as well as for the more than 5,200 employees who work on the airfield.”
Since 2015, VNY has implemented a variety of voluntary and mandatory measures to reduce V/PDs in response to the FAA’s national call to action on this issue. They range from issuing administrative citations and revoking airfield driving privileges for safety violations, to establishing and auditing new security training programs for airport employees, vendors and visitors. A key goal is to increase airport familiarization and situational awareness for all persons accessing the airport, officials added.
VNY has also completed projects for improved access control, including enhancements to airport fencing, signage and lighting. Approximately 1.5 miles of the airport’s perimeter fence has been heightened, six lighting projects have been completed, and 38% of the original gates have been restricted or closed. More improvements are planned in 2019.
In addition, in 2017, the airport’s master tenants unanimously approved 11 best practices to maintain positive control of persons and vehicles on their leaseholds – ranging from the installation of electronic key cards and surveillance cameras to prohibiting Uber, Lyft, and taxi drivers from entering aircraft parking ramps.
Overall, towered airports reported a total of 1,831 runway incursions in 2018, of which 335 were V/PDs. This is an increase over the 1,748 runway incursions reported in 2017, of which 293 were V/PDs.
In contrast, VNY has experienced a downward trend in the number of V/PDs over the past several years, recording four in 2015, three in 2016, one in 2017, and zero in 2018.