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Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2001 7:01 am

LAX Is #1 In Serious Near-collisions

Sat Jun 30, 2001 9:53 am

I was sad to read this in the SUN June 24 LA Times.

quote: "The FAA report released concluded that LAX had the nations highest number of serious near-collisions from 1997 to 2000. During that time there were 13 serious incidents at LAX: 1 in 1997, 2 in 1998, 5 in 1999 and 5 in 2000."

It goes on...

"...For years, LAX has wrestled with improving runway safety. Pilots and controllers say many near misses are related to the airfields configuration..."

Pilots and ATC say that the reason that these 13 serious incidents have happened... 80% of which were on the southern (25L/R) runways (on the right side of this picture)... is because of the layout of the runways, where as landings are done on the outer runways, and take-offs on the inner.

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Photo © Sean Woodard

"...For 40 years, pilots have touched down on runways closest to the cities of El Segundo and Westchester and taken off from runways closest to terminals to cut down on noise. But the problem is that this step requires pilots to drive from outside runways across inside runways to the terminals---a maneuver that caused many of the near-collisions at LAX."

Their solution---

"The proposal to swap runways has been criticized by controlers, who say that doing so would cut down on the number of departures that the airport could handle and compromise safety further than the current configuration. An ATC spokesperson said, 'If they were to change those runways, you would see a noticeable increase in runway incursions.' He added that moving the runways farther apart and adding parallel taxiways between runways on the north and south sides of the airfield, where pilots could stop and talk through instructions with controllers, would provide a much higher margin of safety."

What are your thoughts?
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.