Runway Incursions Still Tops on NTSB List
Three serious near collisions on runways in Boston, New York and Las Vegas this year have prompted the NTSB to again press for quicker action by the FAA to reduce such incidents. This issue has been on the Safety Board’s “most wanted” list since its inception in 1990. Although the FAA “completed action on a number of objectives to make ground operation of aircraft safer, these incidents continue to occur with alarming frequency.” FAA statistics show there were 326 incursions in FY2004 and 324 in FY2005. The FAA’s anti-incursion system provides warning to air traffic controllers, but not to flight crews, “a fact that reduces the amount of time that pilots have to react to an impending incursion.” In what might appear as a snub at the FAA, the Safety Board did not acknowledge the regulatory agency’s announcement earlier this month that in January it will start deploying new airport surface detection equipment at 15 of the nation’s busiest airports.