DFW Looks At Perimeter Taxiways

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Getting around the airport could take on a whole new meaning at DFW International Airport in the future. The airport intends to build huge taxiways that encircle the runways, thus eliminating the need for aircraft to cross runways on the way to the one they're using. "We believe the implementation of perimeter taxiways will enhance the safety of the airport and improve airport efficiency for the aviation community and the flying public," said FAA spokesman Ronnie Uhlenker. With conventional taxiways, the tests showed DFW averages 147 runway crossings per hour -- the perimeter taxiways eliminated them. Although it sounds simple enough, DFW officials conducted elaborate simulations to see if it would work. Over three days at NASA's Ames FutureFlight Central virtual-reality control tower in Moffet Field, Calif., pilots in a B-747 simulator operated around a virtual mockup of DFW's airfield while FAA controllers manned the virtual tower. DFW already has the best record for runway incursions, recording a million flights without an incursion.