Monday, June 26, 2000

Safety upgrades urged

USA Today

        WASHINGTON — Federal officials should require better runway markings, more exact communication between pilots and air traffic controllers and new technologies to make runways safer, a federal aviation summit will be told today.

        John Mayrhofer, director of the FAA's runway safety program, told USA Today that the most promising suggestions, to be unveiled here today, include:

        • Changing federal regulations to require that pilots receive specific air traffic clearance before they cross any runways. Pilots now can cross runways at their own discretion after they receive general clearances.

        • Requiring changes to airport markings and signs to make runways more visible.

        • Simplifying the way pilots and controllers communicate. Language needs to be more standardized.

        • Keeping better track of airport vehicles. New satellite technology would allow drivers to know when they stray onto a runway or to broadcast a vehicle's exact position to controllers.


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