Release #08.051
October 31, 2008

Pilots Participate in New Runway Safety Council
FAA Names Capt. Rory Kay Industry Co-Chair

WASHINGTON—The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently named Capt. Rory Kay, executive air safety chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), the new Runway Safety Council’s industry co-chair. Capt. Kay will serve a one-year term in that position; Wes Timmons, FAA’s director of runway safety, is the other co-chair.

“It’s my great pleasure to better serve the safety of the traveling public in this role,” said Capt. Kay. “The experience that pilots bring to the table is irreplaceable, and we’re thankful that the FAA recognizes it.”

The RSC, which is slated to meet every other month, is comprised of FAA, ALPA, airport, airline, air traffic professionals, and general aviation representatives. The council’s mission is to employ a risk-based, root-causal analysis methodology to identify runway risk mitigation strategies and offer safety recommendations.

“We’re pleased that the RSC will use the same type of data-driven approach that the Commercial Aviation Safety Team has used to significantly reduce the airline accident rate,” Capt. Kay said. “By using the CAST model, we are optimistic that the RSC will be successful in reducing the potential for runway incursions.”

The goal of the new group is to identify ways to reduce the severity and frequency of Category A and B incursions—the most dangerous types—by 5 percent each year. Despite the government’s and industry’s heightened emphasis on reducing runway incursions over the past year, the actual number of incursions has risen, which demonstrates the difficulty of thwarting this hazard in a meaningful way.

“This fits right into ALPA’s ‘Hold Short for Runway Safety’ campaign,” added Capt. Kay. “We’ve started several endeavors to raise the awareness of runway hazards to pilots around the world, including a Web site, newsletters, and informational materials.”

For more information, visit the “Hold Short for Runway Safety” Web site at The site houses all of ALPA’s runway safety advocacy materials, including congressional testimony, white papers, newsletters, and links to other government and industry partners.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union representing more than 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.

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Contacts: Linda Shotwell and Molly Martin, 703/481-4440 or