Business Jet Center (BJC) at Dallas Love Field (DAL) has doubled its ramp space and built a new taxiway to accommodate the growth it has experienced since completing a $15 million rebuilding program three years ago. The leasehold now covers a total of 24 acres on the crowded business aviation hub airport.
Following successful tests at Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego International Airports, acting FAA Administrator Robert Sturgell announced that runway status lights will be installed at 20 more major airports over the next three years. The in-pavement stoplights are automated, surveillance-driven lights that alert pilots of aircraft departing or crossing a runway that it is already occupied and active.
The FAA has proposed extending the enhanced standards for taxiway centerline markings to all 567 certified airports to reduce the risk of runway incursions. It is also recommending regular recurrent driver training for all who have access to the movement area and ramp areas at certified (FAR Part 139) airports.
In a report released this week, the DOT Inspector General has found that runway status lights (RWSL) are “a viable technology” for preventing runway incursions. However, it said this technology is still in the early stages of implementation, meaning much work remains before the FAA can achieve full deployment.
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.
The runway resurfacing project at Collin County Regional Airport in McKinney, Texas, is complete, and operations resumed there on November 30. The airport was closed for a month during the project, which added 12 inches of new concrete overlay on 7,001-foot Runway 17/35 and three inches of new asphalt on the taxiway to allow operation of heavier airplanes.
Cessna CitationJet 525, Memphis, Tenn., Oct. 11, 2007–The NTSB concluded that the cause of this incident was the pilot’s inadvertent departure from a taxiway at Memphis International instead of a runway, despite the tower’s twice warning the pilot he was taking off from the taxiway.
Cessna Caravan C208B, Opa Locka, Fla., Nov. 6, 2007–The Florida Air Cargo Caravan collided with the Island Air Service Beech 18 on a taxiway at Miami’s Opa Locka Airport. The Caravan had landed on Runway 9L and was cleared to Taxiway C. After crossing Taxiway P, the pilot saw the Beech 18 and tried unsuccessfully to avoid it. Both airplanes were substantially damaged but the three pilots were not injured.
FAA airport safety researchers have created a prototype taxiway screen that could help prevent runway incursions at airports with taxiways that pass well beyond the ends of runways. The screens “hide” aircraft on end-around taxiways from the view of pilots preparing to take off on active runways.
Cessna CitationJet 525, Memphis, Tenn., Oct. 11, 2007–When Citation N241EP was taxiing on Taxiway N at Memphis International, the tower cleared it for takeoff on Runway 36L. The crew began its takeoff roll on Taxiway M, and the tower twice advised the crew that they were taking off on a taxiway.