Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Runway Incursion Avoidance Lesson by wifiCFI

What is a “Runway Incursion?”

When two aircraft get too close for comfort and create a near collision.

Challenges Unique to Taxiing

Runway incursions are on the rise due to increased air traffic.

Surface movement accidents are a big safety concern.

Challenges to taxiing (hazards):

Complex taxiway and runway layouts

Low visibility taxiing

Winds and the possibility of the upwind wing rising unless properly compensated for

Taxiing with your feet and staying on the taxiway centerline.

Jet blast

Taxiing on a snow or ice covered taxiway

Complex Taxiways

Land and Hold Short Operations

Must a pilot accept a LAHSO clearance?


Pilots may accept a LAHSO clearance only if the PIC determines that the aircraft can safely land and stop within the available landing distance (ALD data are published in the A/FD special notices section.) 

Pilots unfamiliar with LAHSO and student pilots should not participate. 

The PIC has complete authority to accept or decline a LAHSO clearance. 

The PIC must decline a LAHSO clearance if he or she believes it would compromise safety. 

To accept a LAHSO clearance, you need to be familiar with all information concerning LAHSO at that particular airport (e.g., published ALD, runway slope). 

Some airports also have markings, signs, and lighting associated with LAHSO. 

These may include yellow hold-short markings, red and white signage and/or in-pavement lighting.

If you determine that you cannot safely accept a LAHSO clearance, you have full authority to decline and request to land on the full length, or on another runway. 

What happens if you accept a LAHSO?

A pilot who accepts a LAHSO clearance must adhere to it, unless he or she obtains an amended clearance.

If a rejected landing becomes necessary after accepting a LAHSO clearance, the pilot must maintain safe separation from other aircraft / vehicles and notify ATC as soon as possible. 

If ATC gives you a LAHSO clearance, ATC needs a full read back that includes the words, “HOLD SHORT OF (RUNWAY/TAXIWAY/POINT).” 

Cockpit Activities

Pilot workload should be at a minimum during taxi operations.

Sterile Cockpit Principle:

No distractions or unnecessary conversations or duties during critical phases of flight.

Continuous loop processing.

Enhanced awareness through understanding the clearances issued to other pilots and vehicles.

Be vigilant if another aircraft has a similar call-sign.

Always ask ATC if you’re unsure of an assignment.


Have a current copy of the applicable Airport Diagram handy.

Large airports often have pre-designated taxi routes. Review these for familiarity.

Based on the runway in use and usable taxiways, review the expected and possible taxi routing.


Always write down ATC taxi instructions to prevent mistakes.

Review the route given by ATC and ask for help in times of confusion.

Conduct a taxi briefing. Briefing

Always review and brief hot spots.

Brief the route given and any abnormalities.

Questions to ask:

Where are you?

Where are you going?

How will you get there?

Any hot-spots along my route?

Any other items of concern?

Situational Awareness

Always know your present location and your next turning point.

Listen to what is going on around you.

Keep your head up and constantly scan your surroundings.

Expect the unexpected.

Procedures for Taxiing Steering and Control

Use rudder pedals to maintain centerline.

Differential thrust/braking can be utilized in multi-engine aircraft.

Never ride the brakes.

Keep speed to the pace of a brisk walk/jog.

Only use as much power as needed.

Test brakes immediately after rolling from tie-down spot with engine power reduced.

Maintaining Position

Have a current chart supplement

Have a current taxi diagram

Low Visibility Conditions

SRM (Single Pilot Resource Management)

Use all resources available to you

Airport Diagram

Heading Indicator

Airport Signs

Airport Markings

Airport Lighting

Before taxiing, brief the requirements and special conditions

Low visibility taxi chart

Be aware of ILS Critical Hold Short Areas

Runway Incursions If an incursion occurs, you can jeopardize safety and/or be violated by the FAA.

Hold Lines

When approaching this line from the dashed side, what do you do?

When approaching this line from the solid side, what do you do?

All runways require a clearance to cross.

If you get to a hold short line without a clearance, you must stop short of the line and request crossing clearance from ground control (if applicable).


Brief all landings once you get a runway assignment.

Depart the runway as expeditiously as possible.

At a controlled airport, you are NEVER authorized to reverse direction or use a reverse high-speed taxiway unless cleared to do so.

Hazards after landing

If stopped between parallel runways, only crossed when cleared to do so.

If you cannot clear the landing runway due to an adjacent runway- advise ATC.

Sterile cockpit.

Taxi at a manageable speed. Do not exit a runway at a high speed.

Ensure the aircraft is entirely clear of all hold short lines.

Controlled Airports


Plan, brief, and review.

Use pilot/controller phraseology.

When making contact with any ATC facility state:

Who you are

Where you are

What you want

Focus on obtaining the correct clearance.

Properly read back all clearances.

Non-Controlled Airports


Be familiar with traffic pattern direction and altitude.

In calm wind conditions, more than one runway may be in use.

Instrument approaches may use different runways than VFR traffic

Be alert. Communicate your intentions clearly and listen for other traffic.

Maintain situational awareness.

Scan for traffic before entering or exiting the runway environment.

Continuously monitor the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF).

Lighting and Night Ops

Exterior lighting is used to make aircraft easier to see.

Engines running: Turn on the rotating beacon prior to engine start.

Taxiing: Turn on navigation/position lights and taxi light(s) prior to taxiing.

Crossing a runway: Illuminate all exterior lights.

Entering a runway for takeoff: Illuminate landing lights and anti-collision/strobe lights.

Night Operations

Be more cautious due to reduced visibility.

Situational Awareness

Make sure you stay on your route.

Taxi slower if needed.

Look closely at taxiway markings, signs, and lights.

Use aircraft exterior lights for increased visibility to others.

FAA Sources Used in this Lesson

Advisory Circular 91-73

Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM)

Risk Management Handbook

Airplane Flying Handbook (AFH)

FAA Safety Briefing on LAHSO Operations

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