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Orlando deploys runway status lights

Sensis is in the midst of installing runway status lights (RWSL) at Florida's Orlando International airport, the latest airport to be outfitted with the anti-incursion tool Sensis supplies to FAA through a contract it won from the agency last year.

Installation of the status lights at Orlando should be complete by the end of the fourth quarter of 2010, a Sensis spokesman says.

Orlando joins airports in Dallas/Fort Worth, San Diego and Los Angeles in deploying the lights, which should be installed at 22 airports by 2011. FAA awarded a $131 million lighting system contract to Sensis in October 2008, and two optional one-year extensions could expand the total value to $215 million.

RWSL take cues from the Sensis Airport Surface Detection Equipment Model X (ASDE-X) to determine when a runway is occupied. Pilots are alerted not to cross or enter a runway by red lights embedded in runway ends and intersecting taxiways. Pilots are also warned if a runway is unsafe for departure.

ASDE-X rollout is underway as the FAA has contracted Sensis to develop and deploy the surveillance system at the 35 airports that handle roughly 75% of commercial air traffic in the US. The system is operational at 21 facilities. Work is nearly complete at Philadelphia International airport, the Sensis spokesman says.

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