With runway accidents increasing, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded over $100 million to 12 airports in order to build additional taxiways and install lighting to reduce “incursions” where planes, vehicles, and people mistakenly obstruct runways. This comes as more people are starting to spend more money on travel than they would pre-pandemic. Continue reading below to learn more.
“Sometimes the best technology is concrete, and that’s why some of what you’re seeing are the construction of these end-around taxiways that mean one less potential conflict point where a plane lines up,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said at a news conference on Tuesday.
The announcement comes as runway incursions have fallen after a spike at the start of the year. On Tuesday, the F.A.A. said that the rate of the most concerning kinds of incursions had risen in January to one for every one million takeoffs and landings, but that it had since been cut in half.
A series of jarring incursions early in the year received widespread attention. In one incident at Kennedy International Airport, in New York, a plane had to abort taking off because another had crossed dangerously close to it. In another episode, at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas, a pilot had to abort landing because another plane was using the runway to take off.
In March, the F.A.A. held a safety summit to address the incursions and other safety concerns. It also issued a bulletin to airlines, airport operators and workers, calling on carriers to exercise caution in carrying out operations. The National Transportation Safety Board is holding an event on Tuesday to discuss incursions.
There have been about 550 runway incursions this year through April, up slightly from 530 during the same period last year, according to the F.A.A.