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Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : msn.airport|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller military : 4|
controller radar : 12
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
A new runway has been constructed at the dane county regional airport in madison, wi (msn). The new runway is numbered 3/21 -- it replaces runway 4/22. In the past several months since the new runway has been in use, pilots and controllers have confused runway 21 with runway 31, as the 2 runway numbers are very similar sounding. This problem did not exist when runway 4/22 was in use. As a solution, it has been suggested to the airport manager through the FAA tower manager that runway 13/31 be renumbered to 14/32. The reason for the change is twofold. First, the new number would eliminate the potential for confusion with similar sounding numbers. Secondly, the actual magnetic heading of runway 31 is 317.2 degrees, which is obviously closer to 320 degrees than 310 degrees. It would appear that runway 13/31 has been misnumbered for many yrs. I believe that runway 13/31 may have been misnumbered originally to prevent confusion with runway 4/22. Airport management is resisting the change because of the cost involved in painting and new signage. FAA management is being very passive because they do not want to make waves with the airport commission. Meanwhile, pilots and controllers do their best to avoid mix-ups with the very similar sounding runways. I am personally asked to clarify a runway clearance almost daily.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: NEW RWY IDENT NUMBERING CAUSING CONFUSING AND INCREASING WORKLOAD AT MSN ARPT, WI.
Narrative: A NEW RWY HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED AT THE DANE COUNTY REGIONAL ARPT IN MADISON, WI (MSN). THE NEW RWY IS NUMBERED 3/21 -- IT REPLACES RWY 4/22. IN THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS SINCE THE NEW RWY HAS BEEN IN USE, PLTS AND CTLRS HAVE CONFUSED RWY 21 WITH RWY 31, AS THE 2 RWY NUMBERS ARE VERY SIMILAR SOUNDING. THIS PROB DID NOT EXIST WHEN RWY 4/22 WAS IN USE. AS A SOLUTION, IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED TO THE ARPT MGR THROUGH THE FAA TWR MGR THAT RWY 13/31 BE RENUMBERED TO 14/32. THE REASON FOR THE CHANGE IS TWOFOLD. FIRST, THE NEW NUMBER WOULD ELIMINATE THE POTENTIAL FOR CONFUSION WITH SIMILAR SOUNDING NUMBERS. SECONDLY, THE ACTUAL MAGNETIC HDG OF RWY 31 IS 317.2 DEGS, WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY CLOSER TO 320 DEGS THAN 310 DEGS. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT RWY 13/31 HAS BEEN MISNUMBERED FOR MANY YRS. I BELIEVE THAT RWY 13/31 MAY HAVE BEEN MISNUMBERED ORIGINALLY TO PREVENT CONFUSION WITH RWY 4/22. ARPT MGMNT IS RESISTING THE CHANGE BECAUSE OF THE COST INVOLVED IN PAINTING AND NEW SIGNAGE. FAA MGMNT IS BEING VERY PASSIVE BECAUSE THEY DO NOT WANT TO MAKE WAVES WITH THE ARPT COMMISSION. MEANWHILE, PLTS AND CTLRS DO THEIR BEST TO AVOID MIX-UPS WITH THE VERY SIMILAR SOUNDING RWYS. I AM PERSONALLY ASKED TO CLARIFY A RWY CLRNC ALMOST DAILY.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.