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Cerritos : Freeway Markings Backed

January 29, 1987

The Cerritos City Council has endorsed a plan to mark freeways so they can be identified from the air by pilots. Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block proposed the idea after the Aug. 31 midair collision over Cerritos between an Aeromexico jetliner and a small plane. The collision killed 82 people.

Officials of the Federal Aviation Administration have said that the pilot of the small plane was new to the area and collided with the DC-9 after straying into airspace restricted for commercial jets. Block and FAA officials believe that painting large numerals on freeway lanes will help pilots pinpoint their locations.

Skies over Southern California are divided into "lanes," with some reserved for commercial aircraft only. Pilots determine whether they are in restricted airspace by the altitude they are flying and geographic landmarks on the ground, such as freeways.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently voted to support the freeway-marking proposal, which will be sent to the California Department of Transportation for consideration. Caltrans officials said they plan to study the request.

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