The chairman of the House aviation panel has taken the US Federal Aviation Administration to task for delays in operational deployment of the Northrop Grumman Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS).

Congressman John Mica says commissioning of the runway incursion warning device, which is an add-on to the Airport Surface Detection Equipment 3 (ASDE-3) ground mapping radar system, at airports in Atlanta, St Louis, Los Angeles and Chicago, has fallen back several months.

AMASS has been commissioned in San Francisco and Detroit, and is scheduled to be operational at 34 major US airports by November 2002. It is designed to provide tower controllers with conflict alert of runway incursions. Full AMASS commissioning was slated a year ago, but technical glitches, including false and nuisance alerts, stretched out the current timetable. Meanwhile, the project's overall cost rose from $60 million to $151 million.

Source: Flight International