Even as its airworthiness directives are grounding aircraft of major airlines for safety inspections, leaving thousands of passengers stranded at airports across the country in their wake, the US Federal Aviation Administration is expressing its happiness with another of its initiatives – runway safety. FAA acting administrator Bobby Sturgell said earlier this week that he was pleased with the aviation community's response to the agency's ''call to action'' to make runways safer.
''Our call to action included a top-to-bottom review of 20 airports. It uncovered a valuable amount of data that's led to more than 100 fixes,'' Sturgell noted. ''Some of them were as simple as improving the markings and paint on taxiways.''
According to Sturgell, the fixes have been so successful that no runway incursions have been logged at the 18 airline airports that were reviewed and received the fixes.
Moving ahead on this initial success, the FAA says it will now review 22 more airports, includingthose at Seattle Tacoma, Chicago Midway, New York La Guardia, Washington Dulles and Teterboro (NJ).
Sturgell also said the FAA intends to make available ''up to $5 million to enter into cost-sharing, cooperative agreements with industry,'' to improve analysis of the benefits of current cockpit runway safety technologies. This funding will help develop technologies that provide a direct warning about runway safety to pilots in the cockpit.