Taxiing, Landing Aircraft Still at High Collision Risk, NTSB Says

Aircraft that are taxiing at airports of all sizes or about to land are still at a much too high risk of collision, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark Rosenker said May 3 during a speech to the International Society of Air Safety Investigators. "The current aircraft movement system, or AMASS, is not sufficient," Rosenker said, according to an account of the speech that was posted by NTSB. "We need ground movement safety systems that will prevent runway incursions at both large and small airports."

The agency said a new system to prevent runway incursions and ground collisions has been on NTSB's Most Wanted list of safety improvements since 1990. Rosenker largely focused on NTSB's approach to investigating air accidents, which he described as transparent and comprehensive. He cited the ongoing investigation of the Comair accident in Lexington, Ky., in August 2006, in which 49 people were killed. "We are examining all possible areas including airport markings, construction issues, the notice to airman system, air traffic control procedures, crew resource management, personnel fatigue, and new technologies in the cockpit," he said.

All documents and records that become part of an NTSB investigation are available to the public. "We believe open access to information provides full transparency and a more complete understanding of the investigation process," Rosenker said. "In this manner we maintain the credibility of the investigation and make a significant contribution to aviation safety in every corner of the world."

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