US must spend money on aviation security tech to forestall accidents: Security board

The NTSB is investigating six runway incursion occasions since January together with some that would have been catastrophic.

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Expertise techniques that assist detect plane and floor autos at airports to forestall runway incursion are presently used at 43 US airports. That know-how must be upgraded and all different business airports additionally want extra know-how, Jennifer Homendy, chair of the NTSB, advised reporters.

She was talking after a five-hour assembly with business, union, authorities and tutorial representatives on methods to handle runway incursions.

“We’ve got to ensure all these upgrades to security could be funded,” Homendy stated, including that correct pilot and air site visitors management staffing was additionally necessary.

The US has about 500 business airports.

The US runway incursion fee steadily elevated from late 2022 and into 2023, peaking in March at 33 per 1 million takeoffs and landings. That fee fell to 19 in April.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated the speed was coming nearer to regular ranges and vowed continued vigilance.

The US has not had a serious deadly US passenger airline crash since February 2009.

In March, the FAA stated it was taking steps to enhance air site visitors management, convening a security summit and issuing a security alert. In April, it named an unbiased security evaluation group and on Monday, it introduced an funding of $100 million in 12 airports for enhancements to taxiways and lighting to scale back runway incursions.

Homendy stated a FedEx cargo airplane and a Southwest Airways Boeing 737 that got here inside about 115 toes (35 meters) of one another in Austin on February 4 in poor visibility situations may have been a “horrible tragedy.”

She disclosed Tuesday that the FedEx airplane’s first officer noticed a single gentle from the Southwest 737 after which a silhouette of the airplane earlier than they aborted their deliberate touchdown.

“The primary officer stated, ‘Hey that is what I see’ after which says ‘I feel we should always carry out a go round,’” Homendy advised reporters. “This crew did an incredible job.”

Close to-miss incidents have additionally occurred in Boston, Florida and embody a close to collision at New York’s JFK airport between a Delta Air Traces airplane and an American Airways Boeing 777.

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