on an active runway by mistake, an average of 1,000 a year. That number has held steady for the last four years while the total number of flights has declined. The issue has festered even as regulators and the airline industry have made significant gains in reducing other major aviation hazards, especially those in flight. Advances in navigation technology in recent decades, for instance, have sharply reduced midair collisions and crashes into mountains and other obstacles, two of the most common causes of accidents. But a similar urgency to address runway safety has lagged, safety experts said. Only in the last year have all 35 major airports installed new ground radars that provide air-traffic controllers a better view of the runways, and a handful of airports are now testing a new system of warning lights on runways.”
Airports, particularly major hubs, are busy places that can handle more than a hundred flights an hour, while thousands of fuel trucks, airline maintenance cushions, bag tugs, catering trucks, airfield security and many other vehicles crisscross the airfield. Plus there are airline maintenance crews, pilots performing pre-flight inspections and other airport employees helping jets get in and out of their gates. Most incidents involve jets, but there have also been cases where fire trucks, helicopters, animal control vehicles, police cars and even pedestrians, cross runways by mistake in recent years. If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an airport vehicle crash or other air travel related accident and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.