Operations with aeroplanes utilizing TALPA-Based performance information to calculatelanding distance - Civil Aviation Safety Alerts (CASA) No. 2018-08

All Pilots, Flight Dispatchers, Air Operators, Private Operators and Foreign Air Operators Conducting Flight Operations in Canadian Airspace

File Classification No. : Z 5000-35
RDIMS No. : 14107153
Document No. : CASA 2018-08
Issue No. : 01
Effective Date: 2018-09-29


The purpose of this CASA is to alert Canadian pilots, flight dispatchers, air operators, foreign air operators, and private operators, of:

  1. the important safety enhancements that are achieved by utilizing performance information that is based on Take-off and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) methods; and
  2. the operational consequences, including possible delays, which may be associated with the use of TALPA-based performance information.


There are known hazards associated with aircraft operations on runways that are contaminated with water, slush, snow, frost or ice. These conditions result in reduced runway friction and contaminant drag which have a significant impact on aircraft performance and control of the aeroplane during take-off and landing.

Aircraft performance information that is based on TALPA methodology has been specifically designed to mitigate these hazards. It incorporates new performance methods that enhance safety – and have been accepted globally by the world’s civil aviation authorities as well as leading aircraft manufacturers. Performance information that is based on the TALPA methodology utilizes operationally representative landing distances, which provide a significant advancement over the previous performance methods and practices.

Since October 1, 2016, most US airports use TALPA procedures to conduct runway assessments and report those conditions in a Field Condition (FICON) Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). Canada is also moving towards implementing a similar reporting format for runway conditions, in accordance with the timeline for the introduction of the ICAO Global Reporting Format (GRF), which is scheduled for November, 2020.

At present, the vast majority of flight operations conducted under subpart 705 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) (i.e. airline operations) utilize manufacturer-supplied performance information that is based on TALPA methods. With the provision of a runway condition description – including the type and depth of contamination – flight crews can enter the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM) and determine the code that they require to make their performance calculations in accordance with manufacturer-supplied, TALPA-based performance information. (See Appendix A: Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM).

For some older airplanes which are still in service, the manufacturer may not yet provide performance information which conforms to the TALPA methods. For these aircraft, a table with Landing Distance Factors (LDF) is provided in FAA Order 8900.1, Vol. 4, Chap. 3, Section 1, Subsection 4-503, Table 4-11. This LDF table is available online at:


In addition, some manufacturers have produced specific advisory information for operations on wet and contained runways.

The Canadian Runway Friction Index (CRFI) will continue to be available. CRFI describes braking action quantitatively using a numerical format and is described in the TC Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). It should be noted that runway friction readings will not be taken and a CRFI will not be provided to air traffic services (ATS) or to pilots when any of the following runway surface conditions occurs:

  • (a) wet or slush covered, with no other type of contamination present;
  • (b) wet snow; or
  • (c) dry snow exceeding 2.5 cm (1 in.) in depth.

The performance information from the manufacturer always has priority over an estimate provided by CRFI. TC AIM, Chapter AIR, Section 1.6.6, CRFI Application to Aircraft Performance states, in part:

The onus for the production of information, guidance or advice on the operation of aircraft on a wet and/or contaminated runway rests with the aircraft manufacturer.

It is important to understand that the significant safety enhancements that are achieved by utilizing TALPA-based performance information also result in greater conservativism. As a consequence, air operators that utilize TALPA-based performance information may be unable to operate under certain conditions that would not be restrictive to other air operators that do not utilize TALPA-based performance information.

Operators using TALPA-based performance information utilize the RCAM to make their landing distance calculations based on the reported contaminate type and depth, adjusted, as required, on the basis of pilot reported braking action from other aircraft. Operators utilizing TALPA-based performance information typically do not consider CRFI reports in their determination of required landing distance.

The RCAM categorizes the assumed braking action as Good, Good to Medium, Medium, Medium to Poor, Poor and Nil. It should be clearly understood that conditions lower than medium can preclude landing, particularly on shorter runaways. In particular, conditions, such as “ice” or a series of pilot reports of poor braking action, may prevent operations, until the runway surface has been cleared.

Recommended Action:

All personnel must be aware that

  1. There are hazards associated with operation on runways that are contaminated with water, slush, snow, frost or ice.
  2. Operations can be conducted safely when appropriate performance information – such as TALPA-based performance information – has been utilized to mitigate hazards.
  3. In the case of a contaminated runway, under some conditions, the flight crew may not be able to operate until the runway condition has improved.
  4. Air operators, private operators and foreign air operators are encouraged to discuss issues of concern with aerodrome operators.


  1. Transport Canada Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) 2016-08 United States Implementation of Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA);
  2. United States (US) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 3, Section 1, paragraph 4-503;
  3. US FAA SAFO 16009 Runway Assessment and Condition Reporting, Effective October 1, 2016;
  4. US FAA AC 91-79A, Mitigating the Risks of a Runway Overrun Upon Landing;
  5. US FAA Operational (Pilots) Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM) Braking Action Codes and Definitions (PDF);
  6. US FAA Reportable Contaminants in Field Condition (FICON) Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs)
  7. US FAA AC 25-31, Takeoff Performance Data for Operations on Contaminated Runways; and
  8. US FAA AC 25-32, Landing Performance Data for Time-of-Arrival Landing Performance Assessments


The following abbreviations are used in this document:

  • (a) AIM: Aeronautical Information Manual (TC);
  • (b) CRFI: Canadian Runway Friction Index;
  • (c) FAA: Federal Aviation Administration (United States)
  • (d) FICON: Field Condition
  • (e) GRF: Global Reporting Format;
  • (f) LDF: Landing Distance Factors;
  • (g) RCAM: Runway Condition Assessment Matrix;
  • (h) TALPA: Take-off and Landing Performance Assessment

Intentionally left blank

APPENDIX A Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM)

Assessment Criteria Control/Braking Assessment Criteria
Runway Surface Description Rwy CC Vehicle Deceleration or Directional Control Observation Pilot Reported Braking Action
  • Dry
6 --- ---
  • Frost
  • Wet (The runway surface is covered by any visible dampness or water up to and including 1/8 inch depth)

Up to and including 1/8 in (3 mm) depth:

  • Slush
  • Dry Snow
  • Wet Snow
5 Braking deceleration is normal for the wheel braking applied AND directional control is normal Good

-15ºC and Colder outside air temperature:

  • Compacted Snow
4 Braking deceleration OR directional control is between Good and Medium. Good to Medium
  • Wet (“Slippery when wet”/”Slippery wet” runway)
  • Dry Snow or Wet Snow (any depth) on top of Compacted Snow

Greater than 1/8 inch (3 mm) depth of:

  • Dry Snow
  • Wet Snow

Warmer than -15ºC outside air temperature:

  • Compacted Snow
3 Braking deceleration is noticeably reduced for the wheel braking effort applied OR directional control is noticeably reduced. Medium

Greater than 1/8 inch (3 mm) depth of:

  • Standing Water
  • Slush
2 Braking deceleration OR directional control is between Medium and Poor. Medium to Poor
  • Ice
1 Braking deceleration is significantly reduced for the wheel braking effort applied OR directional control is significantly reduced. Poor
  • Wet Ice
  • Slush on top of Ice
  • Water on top of Compacted Snow
  • Dry Snow or Wet Snow on top of Ice
0 Braking deceleration is minimal to non-existent for the wheel braking effort applied OR directional control is uncertain. Less than Poor / Nil

Operators using TALPA-based performance data determine the expected landing performance by taking the reported contaminates and comparing them to a Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM) which categorizes the assumed braking action as:

  • Good,
  • Good to Medium,
  • Medium,
  • Medium to Poor,
  • Poor, and
  • Nil

Contact Office:

For more information concerning this issue, contact a Transport Canada Centre; or contact Inspector Robert Kostecka in Ottawa, by telephone at 613-990-7642, by fax at 613-990-6215 or by e-mail at robert.kostecka@tc.gc.ca

Original signed by

Robert Sincennes

Standards Branch

The Transport Canada Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) is used to convey important safety information and contains recommended action items. The CASA strives to assist the aviation industry's efforts to provide a service with the highest possible degree of safety. The information contained herein is often critical and must be conveyed to the appropriate office in a timely manner. The CASA may be changed or amended should new information become available.