Federal officials are expected to announce today that they will install a $6-million warning system at LAX that dramatically reduced close calls on the ground in tests at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
At a news conference this afternoon, Robert A. Sturgell, acting FAA administrator, is expected to detail the agency's plan to install lights on one of the airport's four runways and at various taxiways on the north and south airfields. Testing is to begin early next year.
The lights work two ways: For planes about to land or take off, red lights illuminate on the runway if another aircraft is crossing downfield. For planes waiting to cross a runway, red lights go on at taxiway intersections if another jet is about to take off or land.
Safety advocates for years have urged the Federal Aviation Administration, which operates the nation's air traffic network, to deploy the lights, saying there is no automated system that directly warns pilots of conflicts on the airfield.