Are animals on the runway defined as a runway incursion?

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    $\begingroup$ Not if they were cleared to cross by ATC. $\endgroup$
    – Sanchises
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 19:51
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    $\begingroup$ No comment for the previous post. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 19:54
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    $\begingroup$ I have to link to this story: aviationhumor.net/deer-on-the-runway $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 17:22

3 Answers 3


The FAA defines a runway incursion as:

Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take off of aircraft.

So no.

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    $\begingroup$ This is the ICAO definition as well $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 4:14

They are considered a runway obstruction not incursion.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you provide a reference for this? Is it valid worldwide or in your country? $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 7:18
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    $\begingroup$ I've always heard 'obstruction' in reference to inanimate objects on the runway -- storm debris, blown tire remnants, etc. Wildlife hazard is the the term I've heard most commonly used to warn of critters on the runway. Here in Florida, tortoises and alligators routinely wander onto runways. The tower usually redirects traffic to avoid them until they wander off. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 12:39
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    $\begingroup$ Perfect answer, master! $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 14:10
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    $\begingroup$ @eduardoguilherme The reason this is not a perfect answer is that you don't know if it is true or not. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ While in Alaska, other creatures are obstructions...cbc.ca/news/canada/north/seal-runway-alaska-airport-1.4372369 $\endgroup$
    – DJohnM
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 3:43

No but they are a FOD hazard!

Reminds me of a funny ATC conversation I heard out at KRVS a long time ago:

Tower: Cessna Niner Fife Four Fife Niner clear for takeoff Runway one niner right.

Cessna 95459: Unable to comply…there appears to be a skunk on the active.

Tower: …well if I had a .22 I’d grease him for you, but continue holding short and let me know when he’s clear of the active.


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