Aviation attorney Michael Slack spoke to KVUE-TV reporter Andy Pierrotti about the uptick in the number of incursions on U.S. runways – as well as possible causes. Andy’s report is excerpted in this post. We also have included a link to the USA Today companion story.
AUSTIN — Newly uncovered data from a USA Today investigation shows an 80 percent increase in runway incidents throughout the country from 2003 to 2013.
The incidents included when a person, vehicle or aircraft gets in the way of a plane’s landing or takeoff path. These incidents have increased steadily in Texas, in line with the increase across the country.
Data shows increase in runway incidents in Texas
At Texas airports, 55 reported runway incursions happened in 2003. In 2013, it jumped to 159.
Michael Slack isn’t surprised with the increase. The Austin attorney, who specializes in aviation, says the increase in incursions can be attributed to outdated airport designs; poor communication with air traffic controllers and weak leadership within the FAA that has known about the problem for years.
“The notion that I’m safe now that I’m on the ground used to be the way people thought…now the reality is you go to a place like DFW and LAX, O’Hare, when you’re on the ground, you’re at your greatest risk,” explained Slack…
Related USA Today story: Tarmac trouble: U.S. runway close calls soar