FAA picks ANC for laser light tests

 - January 9, 2008, 9:46 AM

The FAA has selected Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) to test high-intensity laser lights designed to prevent runway and taxiway incursions. The lights are one of seven projects under way nationwide to help control ground traffic at airports. The lights are designed to augment the four yellow “hold” lines painted on the pavement. In poor visibility, the lasers make the lines stand out more prominently. Alaska was chosen for the tests because it is one of the airports most frequently subject to reduced visibility. The FAA reported 338 runway incursions nationwide during the fiscal year ending September 30. The agency said that 60 to 70 percent of runway incursions are the result of pilot error. Another project designed to reduce the incidence of incursions involves electronic message boards, similar to those found on interstate highways. The boards would be placed at runway/taxiway intersections and display messages to pilots concerning their clearance to cross the runway.