Runway Safe EMAS solutions fill a critical need for regulators and airport operators

If you are a frequent flyer, you might have experienced a final approach over water or highways all the way to the runway. The reason for this is that many large cities and megacities are near some form of waterways, roads or mountainous areas. Runway Safe EMAS solutions fills a critical need for regulators and airport operators

To minimize the hazards of overruns, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) incorporated the concept of a safety area beyond the runway end into airport design standards.  The current FAA policies, has ordered each airport to have 1,000 feet of extra space at the end of their runways, called runway end safety area (RESA) whereas the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 14 recommends airports to have a RESA of 240m beyond the 60m strip and requires a RESA of 90m beyond 60m runway strip.  Many airports are designed with shorter RESA distances than desired to meet today’s regulations, leaving airport operators with only a few options.

The RESA can be extended by allocating more land at the end of the runway or declared distance of the runway.  Declared distances are specific lengths of runway that is published for aircraft operations, specifically when taking off or landing and are defined for pilots to understand their allowable take-off and landing weights and speeds.  Where no extra land is available, or where reduced declared distance has an impact on capacity, the installation of an EMAS is a sensible choice.  EMAS gives protection against runway overruns into obstacles such as buildings, roads, rivers, steep embankments and the like.

Knowing this, the FAA approached Engineered Arresting Systems Corporation, ESCO, (now Runway Safe) in the 1990’s to ask for help with improving the runways of commercial airports.  Runway Safe has played an instrumental part in providing airports around the world with solutions to their challenging runway safety requirements. In 1996, through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, (CRADA) with FAA and the Port of Authority of New York New Jersey, Runway Safe developed its first Engineered Arresting Material System (EMAS) bed using a computer model based on data about fuselage size, landing gear, and average speeds of various aircrafts supplied by major manufacturers.

Today, Runway Safe offers two patented EMAS solutions, greenEMAS & EMASMAX®.  These EMAS solutions rely on specialized engineered materials and approved/verified computer models in order to provide a controlled and predictable deceleration of an aircraft in the case of an overrun.  All EMAS systems are designed specifically for the available area beyond the runway, profiles (slopes), and the range of aircraft utilizing the runway, making each installation custom to each runway end.

Runway Safe EMAS solutions provides safety from take-off to landing


  • Increased Airport Revenue

Increased runway performance enabling traffic and payload opportunities.  For airports with RESA challenges, a Runway Safe EMAS can be a commercially interesting option.  Instead of reducing the declared runway distances to achieve the sufficient RESA and remain compliant, an EMAS could substantially reduce the RESA demand.  This will enable keeping or even increasing declared distances such as the Landing Distance Available (LDA) and Take-Off Distance Available (TODA).

  • Improved Safety

Saving human lives, protecting assets and infrastructure is what Runway Safe does daily.  In case of an overrun, the Runway Safe EMAS would bring the aircraft into a safe stop without injuring passengers, pilots and other airline staff.  The aircraft remains without damages and can be in traffic shortly after inspection.  Surrounding roads, bridges, houses and water streams would be protected thanks to the controlled, predictable and safe stop of the aircraft.

  • Regulatory Compliance

Accepted by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and several national aviation authorities such as the French DGAC, Japanese MLIT and Italian ENAC among others.  Runway Safe complies fully with international aviation authority guidelines of ICAO and EASA.  Every installation is subject to a national approval.  Runway Safe guides you through the process based on our expertise and experience.


Let us show you how an EMAS solution can assist you mitigate your runway constraints.

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