A study says half of US airport runways don't have a safety zone.
WASHINGTON - More than half of U.S. commercial airports don't have a 1,000-foot margin at the end of a runway, an overrun area the federal government says is needed as a safety zone, according to a new report.So guess who is to blame?
Some of the busiest airports in the country — including Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport — have more than one runway that doesn't meet safety standards, according to statistics supplied by the Federal Aviation Administration.
"Our runways are out of shape, and the Bush administration has failed to move to correct the problem," Sen. Frank Lautenberg (news, bio, voting record), a New Jersey Democrat, said Thursday. "If we don't get serious about runway problems, the result could be disastrous."
Unreespectfully Senator, go look in the mirror before blaming anyone else. You and every member of Congress who waste a penny on pork projects instead of fixing runways are at fault. How about that bridge to nowhere in Alaska? How many runways could be lengthened with that money?
The AP article does get around to the real cause of runways not being lengthened.
At 325 airports — more than half of the 573 commercial airports in the United States — at least one runway lacks the 1,000-foot safety zone, according to the FAA's own figures. Almost half of all commercial runways — 507 of 1,017 — don't meet the safety standard.That's the real cause. Almost all airports are heavily built around. Not just businesses, but major highways or in some cases(LaGuardia for one) they border on bodies of water.
Deadly airplane crashes can happen on runways because they're too short, improperly lit, poorly designed or lack safety equipment. A minor procedural error by a pilot or an air traffic controller can turn tragic if a vehicle or another airplane happens to be in the way.
Federal safety investigators are looking into three runway mishaps this week alone: An Alaska Airlines jet landed on the wrong runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport; two airliners clipped wings while taxiing at Newark Liberty International Airport; and another jet landed on a taxiway at Newark.
Within the past year, two fatal commercial airline crashes involved runways.
In August, 49 people were killed when a Comair regional jet took off on the wrong runway at Lexington Blue Grass Airport in Kentucky.
And in December, a 6-year-old boy in a car was killed when a Southwest Airlines 737 overran a runway at Chicago's Midway Airport and plowed into the street.
Part of the problem is that airports were built in congested urban areas and have no room to lengthen their runways.
Here's a case for the legitimate use of eminent domain laws. Expanding an airport runway is a legitimate use of Eminent domain, for the airport is for public use. I wouldn't object in such cases.
Bottom line- Lengthening the runways is easier said than done but safety measures need to be added. Unfortunately the history of air safety has shown that it takes a disaster to get things done.
Linked to- Clash of Civilizations, Cao's Blog, Basil's Blog,