DIA gets $31 million for new lighting system to reduce close calls
Denver International Airport is adding a new lighting system to a key runway and taxiway to help reduce the potential for airplane collisions.
Why it matters: The $31 million upgrade comes in response to heightened attention at the Federal Aviation Administration to recent near-collisions at the nation's busiest airports.
- It's part of more than $200 million announced Tuesday in new spending nationwide to improve safety and airport operations.
Driving the news: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveled to Denver's airport Tuesday to announce the upgrades.
- "We're acting to improve lighting systems at 82 airports, an important part of keeping aircraft moving safely, no matter the time of day or weather," Buttigieg said in a statement.
- The lighting system is used by pilots to navigate at night and during low-visibility conditions to avoid other traffic on the runways.
Between the lines: Airlines are taking note of the focus on safety. Southwest Airlines CEO Robert Jordan told John in a recent interview that the FAA needs more money for hiring and training to improve safety.
- Near-misses are related to inexperienced air traffic control personnel, he said. "No doubt getting to proficiency is an issue in the system," he said.
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