an aircraft makes use of the wrong runway for landing or take-off

Runway confusion also occurs when a pilot lands on a taxiway, having confused the taxiway with a runway, or in extreme cases when a pilot lands at completely the wrong airfield, believe that he is infact landing at the correct airfield.

Runway confusion is most usually a human error problem that results from a reduced situational awareness, often in poor weather or when the cockpit “workload” is high i.e. when we are busy.