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More runway warning lights will be added at LAX to increase safety

April 16, 2012 |  5:34 pm

A Qantas A380 Airbus descends for landing, while a Delta jet holds on a busy morning at Los Angeles International Airport in 2009, just after a new set of red lights were put along the runways that act like traffic signals to the pilots. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Federal and local officials announced Monday that more runway warning lights will be added at Los Angeles International Airport to help prevent aircraft from unsafely entering active runways and taxiways.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, an earlier installation of lights greatly reduced the number of runway incursions at LAX, which had the most runway safety violations in the nation from 1999 to 2007. LAX completed the project’s first phase in June 2009, when lights were installed along a runway and eight taxiways that were deemed to have the highest risk for aircraft accidents.

The second phase of the airport’s runway status light project is scheduled to begin construction in September at the intersections of taxiways and runways that have not been equipped with the safety system. The cost of the additional lights, which will be completed in May 2013, has not been determined.

“This project means safer runways and peace of mind for our passengers and is an integral component of the modernization of LAX,” said Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of LAX.

Runway status lights, which are linked to radar and embedded in the pavement, warn pilots of potential conflicts between their aircraft and other planes or motor vehicles traveling near runways and taxiways.

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-- Dan Weikel

Photo: A Qantas A380 Airbus descends for landing while a Delta jet holds on a busy morning at Los Angeles International Airport in 2009, just after a new set of red lights that act like traffic signals to pilots were installed along a runway and eight taxiways. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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