The General Directorate of Civil Aviation of Ecuador has announced the implementation of the Global Runway Condition Reporting Format or GRF system. The GRF divides the track into three sections and provides information on the condition of the surface. The data includes the percentage, thickness and type of contamination such as water, snow, ice, volcanic ash, dust, rubber or foreign matter.
The GRF, developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), standardizes the conditions of a runway and its braking efficiency. Various airport service areas are involved in the GRF data entry process. First, ground operators collect and compile runway condition data. This information is transmitted to air traffic control, which in turn relays it to flight crews. With the data, flight crews perform landing performance calculations and establish procedures to be used. Finally, once the runway in service has been cleared, the pilots report to ATC all the information they have gathered in order to keep the GRF up to date.
The first four airports where the GRF system will be applied are:
Mariscal Sucre International Airport (Quito)
JosÃ© JoaquÃn de Olmedo International Airport (Guayaquil)
Mariscal La Mar Airport (Cuenca)
Seymour Ecological Airport (Baltra Island – Galapagos).
Staff training sessions were organized in each of these airports for the implementation of the GRF. A total of 54 aeronautical information technicians and more than 60 air traffic controllers have been trained. The DGAC has informed that the gradual implementation of the global runway conditions notification format will continue at all airports in the country. Ecuador thus begins the implementation of the GRF in accordance with the ICAO provision which establishes its worldwide application from 4 November.