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NASA: No need for KLAX north runways widening

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  • NASA: No need for KLAX north runways widening

    LAX's north runways are safe and should stay as they are, NASA panel says

    February 19, 2010 | 10:37 am



















    A NASA panel says the north runways at Los Angeles International Airport are safe and should remain in their current configuration, according to a report released Friday.

    The panel said that while other proposals -- including widening the distance between the two north runways -- might make the airport runways safer, "the risk is so low, reducing that risk by a substantial percentage is of limited practical importance.

    A committee of academics working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration released a preliminary copy of the report Friday morning at the Flight Path Learning Center near LAX.

    Nearby residents had been concerned about the report, fearing it would persuade elected officials to push a runway and surrounding airport land into their neighborhoods.

    Airport officials have been trying to determine whether a greater distance between those two runways would reduce the number of near-misses involving arriving and departing jets.



    The academic committee was charged with looking at five options.

    One would involve doing nothing, while a second would push the northernmost runway 100 feet north into Westchester.

    A third would push the northernmost runway north by 340 feet. A fourth would result in the elimination of one of the two runways on the north side of LAX.

    A fifth would call on the airport to relocate one of its north runways 340 feet south a move that would require the demolition of Terminals 1, 2 and 3 at the airport.

    -- Jeff Gottlieb near LAX and David Zahniser at L.A. City Hall

    Photo: Los Angeles Times file

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...-they-are.html


    I still think they should still move the 24L-6R a bit up so that they can put a taxiway in the middle like they do with 25L-7R & 25R-7L. It'll make things I think easier and they can have similar operations on both sides of the airport. Heck, make 24L-6R 200ft wide if they move it. It's not like by moving the runway up more would result in louder noises for the people living on that side of the airport. That's what you get for living there, hence why I'm not nearby.
    what ever happens......happens

  • #2
    I'm glad NASA don't think its a problem, but that isn't surprising. The various runway safety teams and intersted parties around the world don't seem to agree.

    LAX (as well as many US airports) comes no-where near the current international standards. It is no surprise that they have a runway incursion problem on the north complex, and despite the recommendations that rapid taxiways should not lead directly to a runway crossing they see no problem.

    It is an old airport, it does not have to change anything... but it is unfortunate that the USA are well behind the international recommendations (on a lot of fronts) and seem happy to be so.

    Comment


    • #3
      LA is broke $ wise, besides why fix something thats not broke.

      Comment


      • #4
        Because it is "broke".

        Almost every other airport around the world is spending dollars to try and solve the runway incursion problem, and LAX has got one of the biggest problems out there.

        When instead of a near miss they have a runway collision (which is only a matter of time), then we'll see the lawyers out with all the documents showing how it doesn't meet any of the international recommendations.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't think the number of incursions would decrease with an additional taxiway between 24 R/L

          I think they should try and lengthen 24R/6L though

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MCM View Post
            It is an old airport, it does not have to change anything... but it is unfortunate that the USA are well behind the international recommendations (on a lot of fronts) and seem happy to be so.
            I don't know if you've ever been to LAX or bothered to look at it via google satellite, but the airport is mostly doing what it can with the space it has. Los Angeles does not have the luxury of building a large airport on some flat land nearby where the taxiways and runways can be arranged any which way.

            Given how tightly packed the whole airport is already, there is not really much re-arranging you can do to really make a difference. On the south side they added a middle taxiway but everything is now even more crowded and maze-like, though I think having less intersection at which to cross will likely help a little. They already have incredibly obvious indicators at all runway crossings, double rows of flashing yellow lights flush with the painted holdbars, the usual giant red signs, orange / green alternating guideline lights...etc. I think a lot of the problem could be fixed by making it mandatory to stop at all crossings.

            Then of course, pilots could put a little more emphasis on making sure when to cross an active runway.

            For the space that it has and how it is used I think LAX is an extremely efficient airport and relatively safe given the circumstances. It also has an excellent placing vis a vis the city.

            Comment


            • #7
              G'day Leftseat...

              I completely agree with you that it is a pretty good location for an airport. The sea-fog can be annoying, but fortunately it isn't frequent enough to really impact operations too much.

              I certainly have visited LAX... operated there frequently for about 5 years.

              I disagree the centre taxiway made it more mazelike - in fact it was the best thing they could do. It will reduce the number of runway incursions by a significant margin, likewise makes you a lot more comfortable when using 25R that you aren't going to hit anyone halfway along.

              LAX push for minimum runway occupancy time (understandably), but then have high speed taxiway exits that don't even get straight before infringing a runway! That is against every design philosphy promulgated by ICAO and most countries. The southern complex has certainly been improved dramatically... but they really should improve the northern complex as well. Have a look at the stats of runway incursions around the world... it may surprise you to know that LAX is very close to the top of the list. It IS a problem, no matter how much they want to put their head in the sand.

              You must remember that LAX is NOT an airport that is just for regional and commuter aircraft. It is a major international airport that needs to have infrastructre that is appropriate for that status. And, having high speed runway exits that do not straighten and go straight onto another runway is NOT appropriate, particularly on aircraft like the A340 and 747 where you need to get right upto the line to avoid infringing the one you have just exited.

              In terms of other infrastructure that is lacking...

              How about visual slope guidance. This is something that is standard throughout the world as a requirement, and yet LAX and JFK frequently don't provide it on their runways. If you think it is isn't necessary, well, thats upto the FAA (Despite the statistics showing how much more likely you are to have a crash), but for a major international airport it should be provided. Not all operators are locals, and some operate heavy metal and should be afforded appropriate facilities for that status.

              Try operating to an airport in Europe or Asia without visual slope guidance. You'd be laughed at.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MCM View Post
                G'day Leftseat...

                I completely agree with you that it is a pretty good location for an airport. The sea-fog can be annoying, but fortunately it isn't frequent enough to really impact operations too much.

                I certainly have visited LAX... operated there frequently for about 5 years.

                I disagree the centre taxiway made it more mazelike - in fact it was the best thing they could do. It will reduce the number of runway incursions by a significant margin, likewise makes you a lot more comfortable when using 25R that you aren't going to hit anyone halfway along.

                LAX push for minimum runway occupancy time (understandably), but then have high speed taxiway exits that don't even get straight before infringing a runway! That is against every design philosphy promulgated by ICAO and most countries. The southern complex has certainly been improved dramatically... but they really should improve the northern complex as well. Have a look at the stats of runway incursions around the world... it may surprise you to know that LAX is very close to the top of the list. It IS a problem, no matter how much they want to put their head in the sand.

                You must remember that LAX is NOT an airport that is just for regional and commuter aircraft. It is a major international airport that needs to have infrastructre that is appropriate for that status. And, having high speed runway exits that do not straighten and go straight onto another runway is NOT appropriate, particularly on aircraft like the A340 and 747 where you need to get right upto the line to avoid infringing the one you have just exited.

                In terms of other infrastructure that is lacking...

                How about visual slope guidance. This is something that is standard throughout the world as a requirement, and yet LAX and JFK frequently don't provide it on their runways. If you think it is isn't necessary, well, thats upto the FAA (Despite the statistics showing how much more likely you are to have a crash), but for a major international airport it should be provided. Not all operators are locals, and some operate heavy metal and should be afforded appropriate facilities for that status.

                Try operating to an airport in Europe or Asia without visual slope guidance. You'd be laughed at.
                Hi MCM

                I understand those points but I just disagree that taxiway design is the main culprit for LAX runway incursions.

                That was just a few months ago, with the new taxiway in place:

                http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...on-runway.html

                Here's another one which the taxiway layout had little to do with:

                http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/re...sion-skyw.html

                It seems like most of the incursions at LAX have been the result of pilots simply crossing a runway they were not supposed to. With all the indicators in place and explicit readback instructions it should happen far less than it does.

                This one was a completely different problem, total miscommunication that could happen anywhere:

                http://ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id...21X01217&key=1

                There's a pretty good collection of all of them for the past few years in a nice visual format here:

                http://www.lawa.org/airops.aspx?id=1112

                I was surprised at the number of wrong runway landings!

                And re: slope guidance, yeah that is an obvious and easy thing to fix which has even annoyed me in flight simulator. Particularly since LAX uses visual approaches very frequently.

                Comment

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