Mitigating Runway Overrun Risks with EMAS: A Proactive Approach

Runway safety is a top priority in the aviation industry, and proactive measures are crucial in reducing and minimizing injuries in runway overrun incidents. One such effective solution gaining momentum is the Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS). In this article, we will delve into the unique capabilities of EMAS in mitigating runway overrun risks. By exploring its energy absorption properties, benefits to airport operations, and success stories from implemented EMAS projects, we aim to highlight the proactive approach EMAS offers in enhancing safety standards at airports.

Energy Absorption and Aircraft Deceleration

EMAS is engineered with materials designed to absorb and dissipate the energy generated during an aircraft’s landing overrun. These materials are strategically placed at the end of runways, forming a gradual deceleration system. When an aircraft overshoots the runway, EMAS compresses under its weight, allowing for controlled deceleration and bringing the aircraft to a safe stop. This unique capability reduces the risk of damage to the aircraft and infrastructure, significantly enhancing safety measures.

Minimizing Operational Disruptions and Financial Losses

Runway overruns not only pose a safety risk but also lead to operational disruptions and financial losses for airports. EMAS plays a vital role in mitigating these risks. EMAS arresting system can reduce the severity of accidents and minimize operational downtime, flight delays, and cancellations. This proactive approach enhances airport efficiency, preserves revenue streams, and safeguards the financial stability of airports and airlines.

Strengthening Airport Reputation, Passenger Confidence, and Regulatory Compliance

EMAS implementation positively impacts various aspects of airport operations. By demonstrating a commitment to safety, airports that embrace EMAS enhance their reputation as responsible organizations. This, in turn, boosts passenger confidence, attracting more travelers and potentially increasing revenue. Moreover, EMAS aligns with regulatory compliance standards set by aviation authorities, ensuring that airports meet and exceed safety requirements.


EMAS represents a proactive and effective approach to mitigating runway overrun risks. Its unique energy absorption capabilities and controlled deceleration properties contribute to the reduction of accidents, operational disruptions, and financial losses. By embracing EMAS, airports can enhance their reputation, instill passenger confidence, and meet regulatory compliance standards. Airports that have implemented EMAS serve as powerful examples of the system’s effectiveness in enhancing runway safety. As the aviation industry continues to prioritize safety, EMAS stands as a proactive measure that mitigates risks and fosters a culture of safety excellence at airports worldwide.



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Interview with Andrew Wolanik, Chicago Executive Airport.

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Interview with Andrew Wolanik, Director of Operations & Maintenance at Chicago Executive Airport – a business general aviation airport north of Chicago. Topics they address in the interview related to the two successful EMAS arrestments are: Weather conditions, lives saved, EMAS repair, recoveries, vehicle on EMAS, when they could open runway again, EMAS maintenance and […]



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