Report Warns of Runway Dangers at US Airports

Leadership void, bad equipment, overworked staff make tarmac treacherous
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2007 8:32 PM CST
An aerial view of Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky. shows the airport's 3,500-foot-long general aviation runway crossing the longer main runway in this Aug. 27, 2006 file photo. There is "a high risk...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Lax federal oversight and overworked air-traffic controllers contribute to a "high risk" of a major runway collision at US airports, a new report warns. The GAO report cited 370 incidents on runways this year, near a dismal FAA record six years ago that set stricter oversight in motion, the AP reports. The GAO also criticized shoddy equipment used by controllers.

"No single office is taking charge of assessing the causes of runway safety problems,” said the report, commissioned by two Democrats. Progress has been made on pilot training and tarmac markings since an August conference called by the FAA, but the agency "is taking too many chances and ignoring too many red flags," said one senator.