bridges vol. 19, October 2008 / News from the Network
Lecture Tour of ITLOS Judge Helmut Türk
The Office of Science and Technology (OST) at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC, cooperated with the American Society for International Law (ASIL), Johns Hopkins University, George Mason University Law School, and George Washington University Law School to host various lectures by Judge Helmut Türk from October 8 through 16, 2008.
Dr. Türk, former Austrian ambassador to the United States, and judge at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) located in Hamburg, Germany, was elected vice president of the tribunal for the period 2008–2011.
In his lectures in the US, Dr. Türk covered topics such as “The Waning Freedom of the Seas“ and “Landlocked States and the Law of the Sea,” and provided the audiences with an understanding of the contribution of the ITLOS to international law. In addition, combating terrorism at sea and the suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of maritime navigation proved to be current topics that caught the attention of diverse audiences and led to vivid discussions.
Wedgwood and Türk during the lecture at SAIS.
“It was great – he is a wonderful discussant. Please give him our thanks, and he's welcome back any time!” says Professor Ruth Wedgewood, director of the International Law and Organizations Program at Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.
Guests of the lectures included not only students and practitioners of law and faculty of the hosting universities, but also representatives of offices of the US Senate, and diplomats from foreign embassies in Washington, DC.
http://www.itlos.org/general_information/judges/tuerk_en.shtml (Info on Türk)
http://www.itlos.org/start2_en.html (Info on ITLOS)
(Press Release in which Türk was announced vice president of ITLOS last week)
bridges vol. 19, October 2008 / News from the Network, Austrian Scientists Abroad
By Peter Moertl
The author of the following article, Peter Moertl, is lead human factors engineer at the MITRE Center for Advanced Aviation System Development. He is leading the design and evaluation in aviation research and development with special focus on runway safety. He has over more than 10 years collaborated with various aviation organizations including the Civil Aeromedical Institute and Technical Center of the Federal Aviation Administration, as well NASA Ames and NASA Langley on flight-deck and air traffic controller related human performance and system design. Peter Moertl studied psychology at the Karl Franzens University in Graz, Austria, and received his Ph. D. at the University of Oklahoma.
MITRE is a not-for-profit corporation working in the public interest in partnership with national and international government sponsors with a 6,500-member staff. Its Center for Advanced Aviation System Development is the largest research and development organization for airports and air traffic control systems in the US. MITRE's origins go back half a century to its existence as a laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Its staff addresses issues of critical national and international importance, combining systems engineering and information technology. More information about MITRE can be found at www.mitre.org .
Aircraft at airports operate in proximity to each other and at high speeds during departures and landings. The erroneous presence of aircraft on a runway can lead to disastrous accidents. The worst accident, in terms of human lives lost, happened in March 1977 in Tenerife, when two Boeing 747s collided during take-off. In that accident, 583 people lost their lives. In a more recent accident in 2001 at Milan Linate airport in Italy, an MD 80 collided with a Cessna Citation: 114 people lost their lives. Although such accidents are relatively rare, they continue to occur and their prevention has been recognized as a high public safety priority.
Aftermath of a collision between two aircraft at Milan Linate airport.
Therefore, Civil Aviation Administrations throughout the world have undertaken programs to reduce the occurrence of runway accidents. This article reports on current developments by MITRE CAASD, a non-profit organization supporting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), together with other industry and government organizations, aimed to reduce such occurrences. The FAA is the organization that regulates and operates the national airspace system in the United States.
Runway collisions are the visible tip of a larger iceberg that consists of events called "runway incursions." Runway incursions involve the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle, or person on runways. In the United States alone, between 2004 and 2007 there were 5-6 incursions per million departures and landings - 1353 incidents overall. Runway incursions are generally considered a better safety measurement than accidents, simply because they occur more frequently. Runway incursions also provide information about the errors that lead to accidents. Therefore, by reducing the rate of incursions, the rate of accidents should also decrease. However, the relative rate of runway incursions per total operations in the US has scarcely changed over the last four years, despite the introduction of several safety improvement programs during that time.