Good news for fearful fliers: serious runway incursions — that is, near accidents — were cut in half in the U.S. over the past fiscal year.
Six serious runway incursions took place at the nation’s airports in the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30, versus 12 the previous year, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a news release. Three of this year’s six incidents involved commercial aircraft.
A runway incursion is recorded when an aircraft or other object gets in the way of another aircraft on the runway, creating the potential for a collision.
The decline follows a decade-long trend in improved runway safety, and is the second consecutive year in which runway incursions were halved. In 2000, there were 67 such near accidents on the nation’s runways.
USA Today reports that airports and federal regulators have since stepped up efforts to improve runway safety. The FAA is currently testing a warning light system on the runways of several airports, and plans to install the system in 23 additional airports next year.