The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued an advisory to all airport operators to conduct periodic friction test and rubber removal to keep the runway in proper condition.
"The surface condition of a runway has a major safety impact on aircraft operations in particular on aircraft landing performance. Low friction levels and contaminated runway surface can result in aircraft overruns and run-off incidents," the civil aviation regulator said in an advisory.
The DGCA has recommended the minimum frequency of friction measurement of runways, depending upon the average number of aircraft movements per day and annual aircraft weight of the runway. For major airports like Delhi and Mumbai, where daily average aircraft movement is over 210, friction measurement has been recommended to take place once every week.
The runway surface friction assessment should also be conducted using checked CFME (continuous friction measuring equipment) via trained personnel as soon as possible, following any significant maintenance activity, the regulator has suggested, adding that if possible, it should be done before the runway is returned to service.
These tests should also be done following a period of poor braking action reports on a dry, damp or wet run surface, the advisory said.
In addition to this, as rubber deposits in the touch-down zone of the runway are one of the primary reasons behind lower friction on a wet runway, airports should keep a watch and take necessary steps for its removal whenever friction values near their minimum levels.
"Aerodrome operators should keep records of all runway surface friction measurements. The friction measurements should be incorporated into the aerodrome maintenance plan and used to monitor the overall health and condition of the runway surface," the DGCA has advised.
First Published: IST