NOTE TO PILOTS:
Effective October 1, 2016, the braking action term “FAIR” will be replaced with “MEDIUM”
From the FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other members of the aviation community have developed new standards to improve safety at U.S. airports during inclement weather. On October 1, 2016, U.S. airports, airline flight crews, dispatchers, general aviation pilots, and air traffic controllers will begin using new Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) standards to reduce the risk of runway overrun accidents and incidents due to runway contamination caused by weather and other factors.
The FAA developed the standards based on the work of the Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), which was formed after the December 2005 overrun accident at Chicago Midway Airport. In that accident, Southwest Flight 1248 ran off the end of the runway and into a city street after landing during a snowstorm.
As a result of the committee’s work, the FAA has developed a new method for airports and air traffic controllers to communicate actual runway conditions to the pilots in terms that directly relate to the way a particular aircraft is expected to perform. TALPA improves the way the aviation community assesses runway conditions, based on contaminant type and depth, which provides an aircraft operator with the effective information to anticipate airplane braking performance.
Airport operators will use the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM) to categorize runway conditions and pilots will use it to interpret reported runway conditions. The RCAM is presented in a standardized format, based on airplane performance data supplied by airplane manufacturers, for each of the stated contaminant types and depths. The RCAM replaces subjective judgments of runway conditions with objective assessments tied directly to contaminant type and depth categories.