Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is one of 15 major airports nationwide that will receive a new advanced runway safety system to help combat potential runway collisions, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials said last week.

The new system — called Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X (ASDE-X) — is designed to help air traffic controllers detect potential runway conflicts by providing detailed coverage of movement on runways and taxiways, FAA officials said.

The system integrates data from a variety of sources, including radars and airplane transponders, to create a continuously updated map of all airport-surface operations.

The first deployment of the system for major airport sites is scheduled to begin in January at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

It is unknown when LAX will receive the new runway safety system.

“Reducing the risk of runway incursions is one of our top safety initiatives,” FAA administrator Marion Blakey said.

“The FAA is deploying new technology to these large airports to make sure the traveling public receives the most immediate and greatest safety benefit.”

The Airport Surface Detection Equipment was originally designed as a solution for the smaller of the top-tier airports.

The system was first activated for operational use and testing at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in June 2003, and was approved for national deployment in October 2003.

A runway system called Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS) has already been deployed at the nation’s largest airports, including LAX.

But the new system will be “especially helpful to controllers at night or in bad weather when visibility is poor,” FAA officials said.

When determining which airports should receive the new system, FAA officials considered factors such as passenger traffic and the complexity of airport runways and taxiways.

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