Runway Incursions Down

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The FAA says the runways of the nation are a safer place to be thanks to its program to reduce runway incursions. At a news conference Tuesday, Administrator Marion Blakey said there's been an overall drop of 20 percent in runway incursions over the past five years and the number of serious near-collisions has dropped 50 percent. "We're moving in the right direction," Blakey told the news conference. The statistics are likely cold comfort to the crew of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 747 that had to abort a landing at LAX Aug. 19. On the same day that the FAA held its news conference, LAX officials were confirming that the jumbo jet was cleared for the same runway on which a Southwest Airlines 737 was taking off for Albuquerque. Initial reports indicated the two planes came within 200 feet of each other, according to the Los Angeles Times. The FAA initially classified it as Category A incident, requiring "extreme action to narrowly avoid a collision," but the final classification will wait until the NTSB has finished its investigation.