the potential for runway incursions at Los Angeles
(LAX) in the event that certain proposed changes are implemented at the
facility is one of the aims of a forthcoming safety assessment report for which
is soliciting a research firm.
agency has issued a request for quotations (RFQ) for an assessment of the
potential effects on safety and operational efficiency of proposed changes to LAX’s North Airfield
configuration, as well as a recommendation for implementation action.
study will thoroughly examine the proposals for runway configuration change and
identify credible, significant benefits that may be realized by completion,”
says NASA Ames.
North Airfield complex currently consists of runways 24L/06R and 24R/06L, which
are 10,285ft long (3,136m) and 8,925ft long, respectively. The configuration
was completed in the 1970’s when it was designed to efficiently accommodate US
FAA Design Group III and IV aircraft, such as the Boeing 727, 737, McDonnell
Douglas DC-9 and DC-10 aircraft, which were the dominating fleet until the late
1990’s, notes Bethesda, Maryland-based Washington Consulting Group.
today’s fleet mix at LAX has a quickly growing number of Design Group V and VI
aircraft (Boeing 747, 767 and eventually 787 aircraft as well as Airbus 340s)
“that generate significant air traffic complexities not originally considered
into the North Airfield design”, adds the consultancy.
report now being requested by NASA Ames must be based on historical runway
safety data, traffic demand forecasts and available technology. Consideration
is to be given to projected traffic growth, accommodation of new requirements
for Group VI aircraft operations, and emerging technologies or equipment that
may be employed to improve safety or efficiency, says the agency.
the study must “identify the underlying causes of runway incursions and assess
the severity of the problem, considering future traffic requirements and
configuration options”. This requires the review of Aviation Safety Reporting
System (ASRS) reports and other sources of runway incursion data for the past
20 years, considering only major incidents for those older than 10 years, notes
must also “consider the likelihood of reducing the potential for runway
incursions and improving operational efficiency through use of available
technological improvements, such as; runway status lights (RSLs) and ASDE-X [Airport Surface Detection
Equipment Model X]”.
to a study by the International Aviation Management Group titled “Analysis of
LAX North Airfield Alternatives”, Los Angeles World Airports Authority (LAWA),
the agency that manages LAX, “has in recent history ranked among the highest of
the nation’s commercial service airports in runway incursions, leading the
nation in incursions from 2000 through 2003”. The study had been requested by
“responsible sources” may submit a response to NASA Ames’ RFQ, says the agency.
However, previous reports and background information that are integral to LAX’s modernization program, available in the
airport’s ‘Master Plan’ or ‘Plan Amendment’ study will be provided by the
Government and LAWA.
NASA Ames contract is to run for a period of three months from the date of