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LAX Slated To Get Full Runway Safety Warning System

Prototype System Installed Last June

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the FAA entered into a Memorandum of Agreement Tuesday for the installation of a Runway Safety Status Lights (RWSL) system at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). This agreement augments a prototype system that was installed June 2009. The RWSL system will increase the overall safety of aircraft operations at LAX by reducing the likelihood of a runway collision.

"With these new safety lights, LAX will become one of the first airports in the country to take advantage of a fully implemented Runway Status Lights system," said Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose 11th District includes LAX. He added, "Airport safety should always be our top priority, and this puts us squarely at the forefront of that effort."

LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said, "The installation of this final phase of status lights will mark another milestone in our efforts to make LAX the safest airport in the nation. We thank the FAA for its leadership by accelerating the schedule and prioritizing LAX."

The RWSL system warns pilots about potential runway safety hazards using a series of red lights embedded in the airfield pavement that indicate if it is unsafe to cross or enter a runway. The lighting system works in conjunction with a state-of-the-art Airport Surface Detection Equipment Model-X (ASDE-X) ground radar that collects data from more sources than LAX's previous ground radar system and provides air traffic controllers with color map displays showing locations of all aircraft and vehicles on the runways and taxiways.

In addition to the existing prototype installation, the FAA has determined 11 new taxiway locations for Runway Entrance Lights (RELs) and one new runway location for a Takeoff Hold Light (THL). When completed, LAX's airfield will have a total of 27 RELs and two THLs.

Under Tuesday's agreement, the FAA will design, own, operate and maintain the entire system, which includes all required data processing equipment and software to operate the Runway Status Lights, RELs and THLs. LAWA will not incur any cost for this new installation.

The FAA has placed LAX on an accelerated implementation schedule with a completion date of 2012.

FMI: www.lawa.com, www.faa.gov

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