NTSB pushing for new technology to prevent close calls

by: Scott MacFarlane Updated:

WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board wants the government to require new technology to avoid close calls or something worse.

The Federal Aviation Administration tells Channel 2's Scott MacFarlane there were about 1,000 runway incursions, planes moving or sitting where they shouldn't be, in 2011.

Now the NTSB wants the FAA to require large planes be equipped with anti-collision devices, including cameras on the wingtips of planes to better detect other planes nearby.

The safety board said many cars are already equipped with similar technology. Pilots say incursions are common.

"Anytime you encroach on a runway that another airplane is taking off or landing on it creates a potential safety issue. But the real question is how far over the line did you cross? Did you cross an inch or 100 feet?" pilot Sean Cassidy said.

MacFarlane's review found 15 incursions at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in recent months.

In each case, he was told, there was enough distance and time to avoid a collision.

But  federal officials are so concerned about the issue they've released to pilots a list of "hot spots," sections of Atlanta runways at which collisions are more likely, including one taxiway on which officials are concerned pilots could mistakenly turn in the wrong direction.

But there has been no decision yet from the FAA about whether it'll order those new cameras and avoidance technology for planes.

So far, it's only promised to review the request.