Hot Spot Symbology Changes Coming Soon

March 18, 2022
March 18, 2022 Jean Diaz

It’s vital to know where the hot spots are before you go to any airport — even if you have been there before. Hot spot identification is essential for pilots, particularly during preflight planning and while taxiing on airport surfaces. However, hot spots are currently depicted in a variety of shapes with no particular meaning. Well, that’s about to change! On May 19, hot spots on the FAA’s aeronautical charts and publications will have three shapes with two distinct meanings. Circles or ellipses will depict ground movement surface safety risk areas like taxiway/runway configurations and intersections. A cylinder will be used to highlight wrong surface event risk areas such as offset parallel runways, a nemesis for general aviation pilots.

The FAA’s Runway Safety Group also worked collaboratively with agency and industry stakeholders to develop a visual enhancement tool to help pilots with runway confusion at certain airport locations. These new Arrival Alert Notices offer a visual aid to pilots to enhance situational awareness when a Wrong Surface Hot Spot related to Arrivals is identified. There are 11 airports with Arrival Alert Notices which will be evaluated over a one-year test period. Check out the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) MentorLive! Webinar on March 16 to learn more about standardized Hot Spot symbology and the new Arrival Alert Notice. For details on how to register and get WINGS credit, or to watch an archived version of the presentation, go to The FAA also would like your help in spreading the word about these important changes. Click to find airport diagrams and view the Runway Safety Hot Spots list.