Councilman Bill Rosendahl today celebrated the announcement by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) that it has come to an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on a 2013 completion of the Runway Status Lights project at LAX.
Runway Status Lights are an advanced new system of safety lights designed to automatically warn pilots on the ground of aircraft approaching on the runway.
LAWA’s announcement, made at a Board of Airport Commissioners meeting this afternoon, indicated that construction would begin in August 2012 and finish March 2013, followed by a period of testing and commissioning by FAA.
LAX is the third and largest airport in the nation to test the FAA’s prototype Runway Status Lights system.
“Five years ago, I asked the FAA to install Runway Status Lights as a common sense, high-tech, approach to ensuring safety on the LAX airfields,” said Councilman Rosendahl. “This agreement represents their commitment to complete that project, and I believe it will go a long way towards making our runways even safer.”
NASA, working with an Academic Panel of national experts in the field of aviation, found two years ago that “the LAX North Airfield is extremely safe for projected 2020 traffic levels and traffic mix.” That study assumed the installation of the Runway Status Lights system announced today.
“Safety at LAX has always been my top priority,” continued Rosendahl, “and this is a safety solution that is effective, and that won’t further impact the local residents in Westchester and Playa del Rey.”
Councilman Rosendahl also reiterated his continuing concerns that understaffing the LAX control tower results in longer hours, controller fatigue, and dangerous working conditions.
“I know that the FAA has done some good work to address the staffing shortages at the LAX control tower, but I don’t think we should take our eyes off that ball,” said Rosendahl. “We need to continue the focus on training and placing more certified air traffic controllers at LAX.”
Construction of 2nd round of runway stoplights to begin in September (Daily Breeze)