The Number of Incidents with Disabled Aircraft Remains Steady During COVID-19 Disruptions
It might have gone unnoticed by the wider audience and even within the aviation sector, but 2019 was a record-breaking year in terms of runway excursions, nose gear collapses and missed turns on taxiways. With an average of three incidents with disabled aircraft per week, at least 155 incidents were recorded globally. On average, these incidents led to a runway/airport closure of 15 hours per incident.
With the drastic reduction of flight operations across the world in 2020, a decrease of incidents was to be expected. Surprisingly enough, however, this did not happen. Even without the normal levels of flight operations globally, RESQTEC registered an average of ten incidents per month. Yes, the and the disruptions were less significant than normal, but the incidents are still happening!
A few insights:
- No significant decline in number of incidents in 2020, despite drastic decrease in operations.
- Incidents happen anywhere and to anyone.
- The B737 series and A320 series are most often involved in incidents.
- Most incidents are type I incidents, however the average closure time of an airport remains high in comparison.
These statistics show that the probability of a disabled aircraft at your airline or airport is not to be underestimated. It also shows that preparation is key. In times of crisis like these, you do not want to get in a situation where flights with medical supplies must be diverted because of a blocked runway. Also, with flight operations returining back to normal later in the year, you do not want your operation to be disrupted again by an incident that you are not prepared for. Statistics show that this is a real possibility.
Preparation for these types of incidents is therefore inevitable. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have a comprehensive “Disabled Aircraft Removal Plan”?
- Do you have a designated aircraft recovery team?
- Do you have aircraft recovery equipment?