More than $200m is earmarked for airfield lighting systems at 82 airports across the US as part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve runway safety.

The projects will enable the purchase and installation of new lighting for runways and taxiways to keep operations safe during reduced and low visibility and night conditions.

“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 US 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.”

Runway safety

The new projects include:

  • $30.6 Million to Denver International Airport in Colorado to reconstruct Runway 17L/35R and Taxiway P lighting systems.
    $3.4 Million to Rogue Valley International Airport in Medford, Oregon to install lighted visual aids used to indicate a temporary closed runway that meet Federal Aviation Administration standards for use on the airfield to prevent runway incursions; a new lighting vault to meet additional airfield lighting needs and to reconstruct the existing Runway 14/32 lighting system.
    $2.6 Million to Boeing Field/King County International in Seattle, Washington to install elevated runway guard lights for Runway 14R/32L to enhance safety.
    $2 Million to Dickinson/Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport in North Dakota to install replacement Runway 7/25 end approach path identifier lights, making the airport more accessible by improving approaches to the runway ends and reconstructing Taxiway D lighting.

The FAA has introduced several runway safety technologies to provide pilots and controllers increased situational awareness.

  • Runway Status Lights: The in-pavement lights alert pilots that entering a runway is unsafe due to other traffic on or approaching the runway.
    Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X (ASDE-X): A surveillance system using radar, multilateration and satellite technology that allows air traffic controllers to track surface movement of aircraft and vehicles. It or its sister system, Airport Surface Surveillance Capability, is located at the country’s 43 largest airports.
    ASDE-X Taxiway Arrival Prediction: Predicts when a pilot lines up to land on a taxiway and provides a visual and audible alert to controllers.

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