Monday, July 14, 2008

FAA Expands Runway Status Lights Nationwide

Acting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Robert Sturgell today announced new initiatives designed to improve runway safety at busy U.S. airports, including the installation of Runway Status Lights at major airports across the country. The agency expects to award a contract this fall to install the system at 20 additional airports over the next three years.

“Severe runway incursions are down,” said Sturgell. “And, we’re putting technology and procedures in place to keep it that way. We’re making changes on the runway and in the cockpit that are going to make a significant difference.”

The lights warn pilots when it is unsafe to cross or enter a runway, and are currently being tested at Dallas Ft. Worth and San Diego International Airports.

Runway status lights will be deployed at: Atlanta, Baltimore Washington International, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Dulles, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston Intercontinental, John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Newark, O’Hare, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle airports.

Sturgell also announced that the FAA will provide up to $5 million to test in-cockpit displays that increase runway safety. The funding will cover technology that includes either an aural runway alerting system that lets pilots know where they are on the runways they are entering, crossing, or departing; or an electronic flight bag, which is an electronic display system that gives pilots information about a variety of aviation data. Most electronic flight bags incorporate a feature called airport moving map that shows aircraft positions on the airfield.

In return for the funding, aircraft owners are expected to equip their aircraft to participate in a test bed program that will evaluate operational and safety data. The in-cockpit displays have the potential to help reduce pilot errors, which are now the cause of most runway incursions.

The FAA is also soliciting industry proposals to acquire and install low-cost ground surveillance systems at airports that are not scheduled to receive Airport Surface Detection Equipment (either ASDE-3 or ASDE-X) under current FAA programs. The goal is to increase surface situational awareness and safety margins at selected airports by making basic ground surveillance technology available. The FAA has evaluated two such systems at an airport in Spokane, Washington. This new procurement will support a pilot project deployment to six additional airports during 2009. More airports will be added after a final investment decision is approved. The FAA expects to make initial awards for the pilot project by the end of August 2008.

Sturgell said that improving runway safety and reducing the risk of runway incursions are two of the FAA’s top priorities. The number of serious runway incursions has dropped by more than 55 percent from FY 2001 through FY 2007. The FAA is working closely with industry to continue to improve safety on this nation’s airports.

1 comment:

jtormey3 said...

Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell and his Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continue to subject Americans to a steady-stream of jumbo-jet aircraft near-misses, unsuspecting flights on defective and unsafe airplanes, and other near- and actual disasters such as a recent fiery explosive crash in Moab Utah in which 10 innocent people were killed. Taken together, aviation mishaps are in epic numbers since Bobby Sturgell took over as Acting FAA Administrator over a year ago, as borne out by current NTSB accident statistics themselves:

Recent FAA-floated publicity balloons faux-touting claimed new technologies, ‘going green’, ‘perfect flights’, and stories of how ‘carefully’ FAA self-reviews, are only superficial charades intended to placate and distract the American people. The bottom line? Bobby Sturgell’s fake regulatory agency FAA continues to tell us it is somehow OK for FAA and the airlines, whilst back-slapping each other, to enlist publicists to tell Americans that air travel was ‘never safer’. Meanwhile planes continue to fall apart in un-inspected disrepair, FAA management is exposed as criminally threatening dutiful aviation inspectors, and passengers along with innocent others on the ground are continually put in harm’s way. FAA is a ghoulish and grotesque revival of the Oberstar-decried, Schiavo-decried ‘Tombstone Agency’ - the taped-up-in-red embodiment of the notion that ‘If the plane doesn’t crash, we’re doing great’ - the notion that a federal agency is not required to anticipate and navigate around safety problems, but only react if there are one or more tombstones.

There are 10 more tombstones in Moab, Utah.

How many more will YOU tolerate?

Those passengers were innocent Americans.

Quiet Rockland again asks all members of the United States Congress, journalists, the aviation community, all other American citizens on each side of the aisle, and all other world citizens to ‘Just Say No’ to Bobby Sturgell, and help repopulate the FAA with responsible officials for a change.

Quiet Rockland