Policies (US & Intl)

EMAS Acceptance: FAA, ICAO and Others US (FAA) Requirement: 1,000-foot long Runway Safety Area (RSA) at the end of each Part 139 airport runway.


Many airports cannot comply with this safety area length requirement due to natural obstacles: rivers, highways, railroads and populated areas. Obtaining a 1,000 foot long RSA was FAA's first choice, regardless of the cost, until March 15, 2004 when the FAA issued a dramatic policy change under Order No. 5200.9, which provided EMAS equivalency and placed a dollar limit on RSA improvements. It also requires life cycle cost analysis to determine the most cost effective solution, whether it is EMAS or a 1,000-foot long RSA. With the standard EMAS solution, an EMAS with stopping capability of 70 knots and a safety area only 600 feet long would be required, provided vertical guidance is available for undershoot protection.

The policy also introduces the need to evaluate a non-standard EMAS whenever a standard solution (1000 ft RSA or standard EMAS) cannot be achieved within the maximum feasible cost. The FAA believes that EMAS can still provide acceptable safety enhancement as long as 40 knots stopping capability is provided with the non-standard EMAS solution. Under current FAA policy, RSA improvement is required when the runway's life is extended by a runway rehabilitation, overlay or other major runway work.

The FAA also encourages stand-alone RSA improvement projects to further improve safety. EMAS is AIP-eligible and is described in FAA Advisory Circular AC150/5220-22A, which provides performance specifications along with rationale for its purpose and applications.

Zodiac Arresting Systems’ EMASMAX® fully satisfies this Advisory Circular and the FAR Part 139 requirements. International: ICAO (Nov. 2013) implemented the Air Navigation Commission’s review of “Annex 14, Vol. 1 – Aerodrome Design and Operations”, an amendment which strengthened the requirement for Runway End Safety Areas (RESA) and introduced aircraft arresting systems, such as EMAS, into Annex 14. IFALPA, IATA and ACI are all on record as recommending deployment of arrestor systems such as EMAS when it is impractical to meet ICAO- RESA lengths.

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