NTSB: Runway Incursion System Inadequate

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The NTSB says the system the FAA relies on in part to prevent runway incursions doesn't work and it wants the agency to speed up development of more effective devices. In a speech to the American Association of Airport Executives earlier this week, Acting NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said the Airport Movement Area Safety System didn't help prevent close calls at JFK and Logan Airports in the past four months because it was turned off to prevent nuisance alerts caused by bad weather. In the JFK incident, a cargo aircraft was able to barely clear a passenger plane that mistakenly crossed the runway. The system did work at LAX on Aug. 19, 2004, but its warning came only about 10 seconds before an Asiana Airlines Boeing 747 would have landed on top of a Southwest 737 if the Asiana pilot hadn't gone around. "That is not good enough," Rosenker said. He noted the FAA is working on new systems and urged them to get them in operation as soon as possible.