Westfield-Barnes Airport Snow Removal, January 21, 2011 by MassDOT

Runway Conditions


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At a recent chapter meeting we talked a little bit about Runway Conditions and the abbreviations TALPA, RCAM and FICON.

Click on the term to see its definition:


Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment – a procedure. The Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) initiative reduces the risk of runway overruns by providing airport operators with a method to accurately and consistently determine runway conditions when a paved runway is not dry. Federally obligated airports and many other airports use TALPA procedures to conduct runway assessments and to report those conditions in Field Condition (FICON) Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs).


Runway Condition Assessment Matrix – the way that an airfield owner/manager determines how to classify the surface condition of a runway/taxiway.

A matrix allowing the assessment of the runway condition code, using associated procedures, from a set of observed runway surface condition(s) and pilot report of braking action.


Field Condition Report – a type of NOTAM. FICON is the abbreviation for “Field Conditions”. The reason given for its inception is so that pilots and dispatchers can more easily find, in a lengthy list of NOTAMs, any information pertaining to an airport’s surface conditions.

Here is an AOPA ASI video that talks a about it a bit more.