The U.S. government awarded more than $121 million to airports across the country for various upgrades geared towards reducing the risk of runway incursions, authorities said Wednesday.
The upgrades include the reconfiguration of taxiways that may cause confusion, installation of new lighting systems, and provision of more flexibility on the airfield, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement.
The award followed the FAA’s Aviation Safety Summit held in March during which over 200 aviation industry leaders examined “a string of recent safety incidents, several of which involved airplanes coming too close together during takeoff or landing” and brainstormed about new ways to improve aviation safety, per a separate FAA statement. (RELATED: Yet Another Nearly Catastrophic Air Collision Narrowly Averted, According To Report)
We’re putting substantial resources behind reducing runway incursions with more than $121M in funding to airports across the US. From fixing confusing taxiways to installing new lighting systems, these investments improve safety on the airfield. https://t.co/u1UvTTplTF https://t.co/DlFA8Z3Wtl
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) August 23, 2023
Boston Logan International will receive $44.9 million and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport $39.8 million to simplify and rehabilitate parts of their airfields, among other purposes, the FAA said. Other beneficiaries include Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport ($5 million), Willow Run Airport, Detroit, Michigan ($12.8 million), Eugene F. Kranz Toledo Express Airport, Ohio ($4.6 million), and Richmond International Airport, Virginia ($5.6 million), among others.
Several new runway safety technologies to enhance situational awareness for pilots and controllers will be in operation in airports, per the FAA.
“The FAA is serious about ending runway incursions and we are putting substantial resources behind our efforts. In some cases the best way to address safety risks is modifying or reconfiguring existing airfields – these grants directly address those situations,” said Associate Administrator for Airports Shannetta Griffin, P.E., according to the FAA.
There were seven close calls at airports across the country between January and March, sparking alarm among air travelers, CNN reported. There were at least 1,633 runway incursions in 2022, although the incidence of the most serious close calls has declined over the last 20 years, per FLYING Magazine.