FAA Intros Airport Safety Technology Program
Following the FAA’s groundbreaking System Engineering 2020 support program to advance NextGen, Kate Lang, the agency’s associate administrator for airports, is introducing the Center of Excellence for Airport Safety Technology (Coast) to further enhance airport safety research. Coast will increase the scope and strength of extensive work performed for the FAA at the University of Illinois Center of Excellence in Airport Technologies (CEAT) whose scientific leadership, under Lang’s direction, has attracted international attention. CEAT’s investigation of continuous systems for foreign-object detection on runways won Eurocontrol’s endorsement–and prompted Europe to discontinue its own research–and is the basis of FAA Advisory Circular guidance to airports, including AIP qualification. CEAT researchers are also studying technology applications in wildlife management and runway condition monitoring. Separately, CEAT is evaluating bird-tracking radar at Seattle, New York JFK, Chicago O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth, and assessing, with wildlife specialists, optimum data presentations for local, regional and national analysis. Additionally, CEAT is evaluating recently de-classified military radar for bird tracking. The FAA supports seven centers of excellence across the U.S., each dedicated to specific areas of aviation research.