A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data has revealed that the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) holds one of the US's worst runway safety records, with commercial jets coming close to crashing twice since 1999.
Incoming aircraft at LAX have to cross runways used for takeoffs, despite attempts to reduce violations, known as runway incursions. LAX serves mostly commercial aircraft and while the severity of incidents has reduced, incursion rates remain high, while overall, the number of incursions in the US has fallen by around 20% since 2001.
John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport and LAX ranked first, second and third in runway incursion rates, since 1999, measured by incidents per 100,000 flights, and have recorded the highest number of incidents.
A USD250m airfield renovation is planned for LAX, with a new ground radar system planned for 2006, to provide precise aircraft location information for air traffic controllers. New technology has been installed in the control tower, 'hot spot' warning signs have been placed on LAX charts and USD8m has been spent on improved airfield lighting, markings and signs.
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