Air Safety Experts Most Worried About Runways

Ground incidents increase over last six months
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2008 8:31 AM CDT
Airplanes line up for take-off on one of LaGuardia Airport's two runways in New York in this Nov. 24, 2004 file photo.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)
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(Newser) – FAA-mandated wiring fixes have grounded thousands of flights lately, but the runway is no safe place for planes, New York Times reports. Serious runway incidents nearly doubled to 15 over the past six months, compared with the same period a year ago. “Where we are most vulnerable at this moment is on the ground,” said the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.  

Runway collisions are nearly always caused by human error, but they could be prevented with a variety of no-frills measures, including in-cockpit warning systems, something the FAA doesn’t yet require. “If you’ve got a GPS in your car, you have infinitely more detailed information about where you are than in the cockpit of an airplane on the ground at Kennedy,” said one pilot.