Embraer E170, San Francisco, Calif., May 26, 2007 – The Republic Airlines Embraer E170 and Skywest Airlines Embraer Brasilia almost collided at the intersection of Runway 1L and Runway 28R at San Francisco International Airport. The Skywest Brasilia was cleared to land on Runway 28R at SFO, and the Republic E170 was cleared to take off from Runway 1L.
Airport Movement Area Safety System
The NTSB last month announced an investigation into a May 26 incident at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in which two regional airliners came within 50 feet of colliding. At about 1:30 p.m. the tower air traffic controller cleared SkyWest Airlines Flight 5741, an Embraer Brasilia arriving from Modesto, Calif., to land on Runway 28R.
NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker told the House aviation subcommittee last month that his agency is disappointed in the FAA’s response to five of the six aviation items on the Safety Board’s Most Wanted List of safety improvements.
NTSB acting chairman Mark Rosenker said the FAA’s airport movement area safety system (AMASS) is not adequate to prevent serious runway collisions. Citing several recent near-collisions at Boston and New York airports where AMASS allegedly did not perform, Rosenker noted that the situations were instead resolved by flight crew actions sometimes bordering on the heroic–and luck.
The investigation report of the October 2001 runway collision between a taxiing Citation CJ2 and a Scandinavian Airlines MD-87 taking off at the Linate Airport at Milan, Italy, is quite revealing.
The FAA placed production orders for 11 of Sensis’ airport surface detection equipment systems, Model X (ASDE-X). This requisition is in addition to the 21 initial systems ordered in December 2002. The production option for the 11 ASDE-X systems, in addition to associated hardware, software and support, is worth approximately $35 million.
The FAA recently added new Safety Logic runway incursion alerting technology to its ASDE-X airport surveillance equipment at Orlando International Airport in Florida. ASDE-X combines radar scanning with a transponder tracking system to provide controllers with a real-time picture of airborne and airport surface traffic.
Airport surface detection equipment model X (ASDE-X), designed to help controllers spot potential runway collisions, will be installed at 15 airports beginning with Seattle-Tacoma International Airport next month.
NTSB acting chairman Mark Rosenker said the FAA’s airport movement area safety system (AMASS) is not adequate to prevent serious runway collisions, citing several recent near-collisions at Boston and New York airports where AMASS allegedly did not perform. The Safety Board wants a system to provide immediate warnings of probable collisions directly to flight crews.
Despite the installation of runway collision avoidance equipment at many of the nation’s largest airports, recently there has been an increase in the number and severity of runway incursions at three major airports.