Tue, 26 Sep 2023

WASHINGTON D.C.: After a series of potentially lethal near-miss incidents, the White House, this week, allocated an additional US$26 million to fund improvements to U.S. aviation safety and is pressing Congress for more funding.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been investigating seven runway near-misses since January.

The White House said that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will deploy surface surveillance systems to additional airports at $10 million to improve controller situational awareness and reduce runway close calls.

The White House added that the FAA would also spend $8 million to expand its terminal automation system to prevent incorrect runway landings that can result in close calls and another $8 million to deploy a runway incursion memory aid device used by controllers for occupied and closed runways to 72 additional airports.

This week, the Biden administration called on Congress for more money for aviation safety.

"Without sufficient funding levels and continued investment in safety, the current standard Americans expect could be jeopardized in the future," the White House said.

After a series of close-call incidents this year, in May, NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said more must be invested in aviation safety technology solutions in the U.S.

Only 43 U.S. airports use technology systems that help detect aircraft and ground vehicles at airports to prevent runway incursions, and this technology needs to be upgraded and extended to all other commercial airports, she said, noting that there are some 500 commercial airports in the country.

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