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New safety lights on LAX runways will be delayed

November 17, 2011 |  3:35 pm


Photo: Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Los Angeles TimesThe installation of more runway safety lights at Los Angeles International Airport has been delayed by more than a year because of a lack of federal funding, airport officials said.

The $10-million  to $15-million project calls for lights to be added at nine runway and taxiway intersections on the north and south sides of the airport. That would expand the system of lights that went into operation in mid-2009 at 10 locations.

Connected to radar, the lights are designed to prevent runway incursions that can endanger planes taxiing to and from the terminals. The lights, which are embedded in the pavement, turn red to warn pilots when radar detects potential conflicts between planes or motor vehicles.

The Federal Aviation Administration had planned to pay for and install the lights by the end of the year until the agency’s budget was cut amid concerns about the federal deficit in Congress.

Airport officials said that to keep the project going,  Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of LAX, will pay for the lights and take over planning and installing them. They said, however, the project will not start until 2013 and the completion date has not been determined.

“This is an important safety project for us,” said Nancy Castles, an airport spokeswoman. “We have agreed to help the FAA get this done, although there is no official commitment yet to reimburse Los Angeles World Airports for all or a portion of the cost.”

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-- Dan Weikel

Photo: Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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