TETERBORO, N.J. (AP) -- A system of foam barriers designed to stop jets from careening off runways could be installed within the next two years at Teterboro Airport, site of an accident in February that injured 20 people.
The barriers, commonly called foam arrestor beds, are lightweight concrete blocks that are laid at the end of runways and are heavy enough to slow or stop an aircraft.
In addition to the arrestor beds, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, will shift a road adjacent to the airport about 1,000 feet east of its current location. The authority is also ordering new fire trucks for the airport and will take over airport fire service this winter from a private contractor.
The $20 million project could be completed as soon as the summer of 2007.
A corporate jet carrying 11 people failed to take off on Feb. 2 and crossed six lanes of Route 46, striking cars and plowing into a warehouse. The driver of a car hit by the plane sued the Port Authority, claiming that arrestor beds could have prevented the accident.
Arrestor beds have been used for several years at La Guardia and Kennedy Airports. Port Authority officials had been considering placing them at Teterboro prior to the February crash.
''We feel we have a responsibility to this community,'' Anthony Coscia, the authority's chairman, told The Sunday Record of Bergen County. ''This is not a cure-all. It's not going to stop everything from happening.''
Information from: The Record of Bergen County, http://www.northjersey.com
Calls for the barriers were renewed after several recent incidents at the airport, where two planes have skidded off runways and a third crashed while landing this year.
A $500,000 federal grant will be used to make safety improvements to an airport runway.
The $14.9 million system is designed to stop planes that either abort takeoff or overshoot the airport's shortest runway on landing.