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Feds to fund new runway lights following near misses

Federal officials are conducting a review of six near misses at U.S. airports earlier this year as they try to maintain safe travel.
Feds to fund new runway lights following near misses
Posted at 1:38 PM, Sep 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-27 14:39:02-04

The Department of Transportation announced that it is allocating $201 million in funding to improve runway safety to be spread among 82 airports across the U.S. 

The funding comes as the department has noted multiple incidents near runways in the past year. 

The Transportation Department says the funds will provide new lighting and taxiways meant to keep operations safe during times of reduced visibility and night conditions. 

Many of the projects will be installed at smaller and mid-sized airports throughout the U.S. The most expensive project will come at Homer, Alaska's airport, which will be provided with $46 million to provide a complete overhaul of the airport's runway and lighting system. 

Denver International Airport is also set to see about $30 million in funds, which will go to reconstruct runway and taxiway lighting. Memphis International is also set for a $27 million renovation of its lighting, in addition to improvements to the terminal. 

“We’re acting to improve lighting systems at 82 airports, an important part of keeping aircraft moving safely, no matter the time of day or weather,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These runway and taxiway lighting investments are just the latest way President Biden is improving our airports, which will benefit Americans now and for decades to come.

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The funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last year, which authorized up to $108 billion to support federal public transportation programs.

In July, the Department of Transportation's inspector general started an audit of the Federal Aviation Administration's handling of runway incursions. 

The National Transportation Safety Board announced an investigation into six recent incidents in which planes have nearly collided on the runways of commercial airports. Noted in the inspector general's announcement were incidents at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport. 

Government officials have placed some of the blame on a shortage of air traffic controllers. 


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