First To Include Warnings For Intersecting Runways
Technology that warns pilots about potential runway safety
hazards will be installed and tested at Boston Logan International
Airport under a partnership between the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) and the Massachusetts Port Authority
Agency officials announced Wednesday the test system will be
installed in November 2009 and testing will begin the following
month, a full two years ahead of the planned national program
The system, called Runway Status Lights, uses a series of red
lights embedded in the pavement to warn pilots if it is unsafe to
cross over or enter a runway. Under the agreement between the FAA
and Massport, pilots will begin testing Runway Status Lights at
Logan next year. The FAA and Massport are sharing the cost of the
system, estimated at $5 million.
Boston will be the first location in the country to test Runway
Status Lights for intersecting runways.
"These lights add another layer to the safety systems designed
to keep our runways safe," said FAA Acting Administrator Robert
Sturgell. "They will keep pilots focused and make our runways
"Safety and security are our most important priorities at
Logan," said Thomas J. Kinton Jr., CEO and Executive Director of
the Massachusetts Port Authority. "We are pleased that Logan will
be among the first airports in the nation to have runway status
lights. They will reduce the potential for runway incursions and
are an important tool to use in improving airfield safety."
"The new runway status lights are a critical safety improvement
to Logan’s runways and taxiways. Safety should always remain
our utmost concern, and the latest improvements are in keeping with
that interest. I am pleased that the FAA has dedicated resources to
enhance the safety and the efficiency of Massachusetts’
largest commercial airport," added Senator John F. Kerry.
Pilots approaching a runway equipped with Runway Status Lights
will see red lights illuminated if the airport’s ground
surveillance radar detects traffic on or approaching that runway.
Clearance to cross or enter a runway must be given by air traffic
control. Pilots must verify clearance before proceeding even after
the warning lights are no longer illuminated. Runway Status Lights
will also be used by vehicle operators.
The system is in place at Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego at
non-intersecting runways and has improved runway safety without
reducing capacity or increasing controller workload. The concept
for Runway Status Lights was developed at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory.