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Hot Spots at Aerodromes

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A location on an aerodrome movement area with a history or potential risk of collision or runway incursion, and where heightened attention by pilots/drivers is necessary. (ICAO Doc 9870, Manual on the Prevention of Runway Incursions)


ICAO PANS-ATM Doc 4444 defines a runway incursion as: "Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take-off of aircraft."

Many aerodromes have hazardous locations on taxiways and/or runways where incidents have occurred. Such positions are commonly referred to as "hot spots".

Formal definition of hotspots can alert pilots and drivers to movement area design issues which cannot be readily mitigated by signage or lighting or where poor visibility may contribute to reduced Situational Awareness in relation to active runways. It can also alert to potentially critical points where the visual control room (VCR) or other surveillance systems are less effective than on a particular aerodrome generally.

ICAO recommends the local generation of AIP charts to show runway hotspots, which, once issued, must be kept up to date and revised as necessary.

All identified hot spots should be examined for short or long term opportunities for mitigation of or removal of the hazard identified. These actions include:

  • awareness campaigns;
  • enhanced visual aids (signs, markings and lights);
  • use of alternative routings;
  • changes to the movement area infrastructure, such as construction of new taxiways, and decommissioning of taxiways;
  • closed-circuit television (CCTV) for critical VCR sight line deficiencies.

Two ICAO examples of runway hotspot charts are shown below.

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