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New system at LAX for flight safety

February 26, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
It is a dubious distinction: LAX has the most most runway violations of any other airport in the nation.Its abysmal safety record is one that officials are hoping to change with the addition of new technology.

To reduce the threat of ground collisions at LAX, the FAA will install lights in the pavement at points where L.A. taxiways meet the runway and will work in the same way as street traffic lights.

Until now, all ground controllers in the tower have issued verbal instructions to pilots to "move" or "hold short." Pilots must read back those instructions. But all too often the hectic pace and dynamic environment at an airport leads to confusion and mistakes.

Travelers say they're all for the improvements.

"It's just that it's so crowded just like our freeways," said Elaine Slivka. "Everybody on the freeways want to get there safely too. But we have just a lot of people traveling and a lot of planes in the air. Anything that they can do to improve it. And we should all get behind it."

The FAA is expected to make the announcement at LAX about the new system Tuesday afternoon.

The system of red and yellow lights has already been installed in one airport in the United States and that's the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, and it seems to work there.

 

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