Collision-warning radar on course

The Federal Aviation Administration will purchase a ground radar system

in September that will alert controllers to impending collisions on or near

runways at 25 airports, the agency announced last week.

Airport Surface Detection Equipment-X (ASDE-X) will be designed for

25 airports that are not among the country's busiest or most complex, the

FAA said. ASDE-X will provide data similar to the ASDE-3 ground radar system

that is installed at 34 of the nation's busiest airports.

FAA Administrator Jane Garvey announced the upcoming contract for ASDE-X

at the June 26 opening of the agency's Runway Safety National Summit in

Washington, D.C.

The announcement comes on the heels of a near-collision of a U.S. Airways

shuttle and a corporate turboprop last month at La Guardia Airport in New

York.

The 25 airports that will get ASDE-X were selected through a rigorous

safety risk assessment conducted by the FAA and Massachusetts Institute

of Technology, an FAA statement said. Garvey placed new emphasis on the

runway safety program last fall by elevating it to a higher level, providing

more resources and appointing a director of runway safety.

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