A new system of warning lights designed to improve runway safety is slated for installation at Los Angeles International Airport.

Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that operates LAX, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) entered into a memorandum of agreement February 16th for the Runway Safety Status Lights system, which augments a prototype system installed in June.

The warning system will increase the overall safety of aircraft operations at LAX by reducing the likelihood of a runway collision, airport officials said.

“With these new safety lights, LAX will become one of the first airports in the country to take advantage of a fully implemented Runway Status Lights system,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose 11th District includes LAX. “Airport safety should always be our top priority, and this puts us squarely at the forefront of that effort.”

The system warns pilots about potential runway safety hazards through a series of red lights embedded in the airfield pavement that indicate if it is unsafe to cross or enter a runway. As part of the agreement, 11 airport taxiways will receive new runway entrance lights and one runway will receive a takeoff hold light, bringing the total of entrance lights and hold lights to 27 and two, respectively, on the LAX airfield, according to the FAA.

“The installation of this final phase of status lights will mark another milestone in our efforts to make LAX the safest airport in the nation,” LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said. “We thank the FAA for its leadership by accelerating the schedule and prioritizing LAX.”

The FAA will design, own, operate and maintain the entire system. LAWA will not incur any cost for this new installation.

The new safety system is expected to be completed in 2012, according to the FAA.

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