Engineered materials arrestor system
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An engineered materials arrestor system or engineered materials arresting system (EMAS) is a bed of engineered materials built at the end of a runway. Engineered materials are defined in FAA Advisory Circular No 150/5220-22A as "high energy absorbing materials of selected strength, which will reliably and predictably crush under the weight of an aircraft". While the current technology involves lightweight, crushable concrete blocks, there is no regulatory requirement that this material be used for EMAS. The purpose of an EMAS is to stop an aircraft overrun with no human injury and minimal aircraft damage. The aircraft is slowed by the loss of energy required to crush the EMAS material. An EMAS is similar in concept to the runaway truck ramp made of gravel or sand. It is intended to stop aircraft that have overshot a runway when there is an insufficient free space for a standard runway safety area (RSA). Multiple patents have been issued on the construction and design on the materials and process.
The only FAA-approved producer of EMAS is Engineered Arresting Systems Corporation, a division of Zodiac Aerospace (ESCO-ZA). ESCO-ZA designs the EMAS beds and manufactures the concrete blocks at a facility in Logan Township, New Jersey. The concrete blocks cost US$1,000 each.
On October 13, 2006, New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez's private jet was brought to a halt safely by the EMAS installation at Burbank Airport. The system was installed after the 2000 Southwest Airlines Flight 1455 runway overshoot that injured 43 passengers and the captain.
On January 19, 2010, PSA Airlines Canadair CRJ-200 N246PS operating as US Airways flight 2495 from Charleston, West Virginia (CRW) to Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT) with 30 passengers and 3 crew, overran the runway following a rejected take-off. The aircraft was stopped by the EMAS at the end of the runway, sustaining only minor damage to its landing gear doors.
On November 2, 2011, a twin-engine Cessna Citation crash landed in Key West. The flight, which originated in Fort Lauderdale with 3 passengers and 2 crew, had a brake failure upon landing in Key West and was successfully stopped by the airport's newly installed EMAS. Only minor injuries were reported.
- Oldham, Jennifer (2006-10-14). "Yankee Player's Jet Overruns Runway in Burbank". Los Angeles Times. "The airport installed the $4-million safety system after a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 skidded off the same runway and onto a street in 2000, injuring 43 passengers and the captain on the same runway."
- "KMDW Airport Diagram" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-01-07.
- "Private jet overshoots runway at Teterboro Airport". Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- "EMAS Arrestments". FAA Fact Sheet on EMAS. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
- "No one is hurt after small plane crash lands at Key West Airport". NJ.com. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2012-08-24.
- "Aviation Accident Brief ERA12IA060". NTSB.