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Hot Spots Gain Standardized Depiction on FAA Charts

New Depictions to Use Circles for 'Ground Movement', Cylinders for 'Wrong Surface' Hot Spots

The FAA has published its new hot spot symbology, which will go into effect in the May charting cycle.

Hot spots have been an item of particular attention for the administration, a cause of many incidents and injuries throughout the last 50 years as aging airports are expanded and revised amid increasing aviation traffic. Often, the hot spots arise from a complex or confusing taxiway or runway intersection, an area of transit that increases the chances of an accidental collision or incursion. In order to bring attention to areas of concern, the FAA has taken to publishing circles, squares, ovals, or ellipses in a manner that varies from one airport to another. 

Beginning May 19, 2022, the FAA will standardize these symbols to three shapes with two distinct meanings: a circle or ellipse for ground movement hot spots and a cylinder for wrong surface hot spots.

Ground movement hot spots are defined as "airport movement areas with a history or potential risk of collision or runway incursion, and where heightened attention by pilots, drivers and controllers is necessary," and will be depicted with a circle or ellipse. Ground movement hot spots will include: hold short line infractions, approach hold issues, complex taxiway configurations, movement-non movement boundary area issues, tower line of sight problems, and signage issues.

Wrong surface hot spots depict locations where an aircraft has inadvertently attempted to or actually departed or landed on the wrong surface. A cylinder will be used to depict such hot spots. 

The FAA is also introducing Arrival Alert Notices (AAN) at a handful of airports with a history of misalignment risk. AANs will provide a graphic visually depicting the approach to such airports with a history of misalignment risk. AANs will incorporate the new standardized hot spot symbology. The change has been a focus for the FAA as it looks to address a significant safety risk. "The FAA has taken a number of steps to address wrong surface events," said the notice. "But there is still a need to provide a more permanent awareness of these events, especially to general aviation pilots, who comprise 83 percent of wrong surface events. The remaining percentage is pilots operating commercially. The FAA is standardizing hot spot symbology to prevent pilot confusion regarding the meaning of or depiction of hot spots."

The new symbology goes into effect with the May 19, 2022 charting cycle.



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