Flight Training - June 2021 - 17

HOW IT WORKS

BY IAN J. TWOMBLY

STOPPING POWER
EMAS SAVES THE DAY

WE KNOW IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE, BUT PILOTS MAKE MISTAKES.

Landing accidents continue to plague aviation, including runway
overruns. At a small airport and at a low speed, the outcome is
usually just embarrassing. At a large commercial airport with
hundreds of passengers and thousands of tons of jet, racing off
the end can be disastrous.
Knowing the potential for damage, the FAA began a process
more than 20 years ago to attach long overrun areas to the end of
as many runways as possible. However, in many places a lack of
land, the topography, or other factors made this impossible. For
that, there's EMAS, or Engineered Material Arresting System.
EMAS is a layered surface of cement and other materials that
can stop even the biggest jets in a relatively short distance.
According to Runway Safe, the owner of the proprietary
technology, each installation is unique, although each uses a
similar process and materials. In general, the bottom of the company's traditional product consists of a layer of nylon mesh. Like
building a cake, they layer on a thick block of crushable cellular
cement, then a foam sheet, and finally a plastic cover. A green
version uses recycled glass as the primary crushing structure.
Typically, EMAS is the same width as the runway, and
extends maybe a few hundred feet. The construction is modular.

The concrete blocks are manufactured at the company's facility
and then shipped in pallet-sized squares that are then placed
down and held together with caulk or tape. The finished top is
resistant to jet blast. Each block is single use only. If an airplane
goes through the EMAS, the damaged blocks can be taken out
and replaced, negating the need to fix the entire area.
To date EMAS products have been installed at the end of 115
runways in the United States and have helped to slow down 15
aircraft with 406 passengers and crew. The system can be found
at airports as big as John F. Kennedy International in New York
and as small as in Rutland, Vermont.
ian.twombly@aopa.org

Plastic cover
Foam

Crushable cement
Nylon mesh
Plastic tray with
forklift slots

STEVE KARP

EMAS SPOTTING
All EMAS are painted with yellow chevrons. In addition, the FAA
chart supplement will have a note for the airport saying that a
gear-arresting system is present at the end of the runway. EMAS
is meant to be a passive safety system, and it's important not to
accidentally taxi onto an EMAS bed or land short on top of it.

AOPA.ORG/FT  17


http://www.AOPA.ORG/FT

Flight Training - June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - June 2021

Contents
Flight Training - June 2021 - Intro
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover1
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover2
Flight Training - June 2021 - Contents
Flight Training - June 2021 - 2
Flight Training - June 2021 - 3
Flight Training - June 2021 - 4
Flight Training - June 2021 - 5
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Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover3
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover4
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