Four airports receive airfield surveillance systems

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Four airports are the first in the United States to receive Surface Awareness Initiative (SAI) airfield surveillance systems.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will install the systems at Austin-Bergstrom, Indianapolis, Nashville and Dallas Love Field by July.

SAI is designed to reduce the risk of runway incursions by improving air traffic controllers’ situational awareness. They work by using Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast data to display surface traffic on an airport map that depicts runways, taxiways, hold ramps and other areas.

“We’re committed to doing everything possible to make our runways even safer,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said. “This cost-effective technology provides controllers with timely and accurate depictions of aircraft and vehicles on the entire airfield in all weather conditions.”

Other airports are scheduled to receive the systems by 2026.

SAI is one of the three initiatives the FAA will be implementing to increase safety and eliminate serious close calls. The other technologies are Approach Runway Verification and the Runway Incursion Device.

The agency decided to implement the technologies after the release of last year’s Independent National Airspace System Safety Review Team report and a safety call to action.

The FAA also plans to deploy upgraded tower simulator systems in 95 facilities nationwide and invest in runway lighting and surface improvements.