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Pearson Airport Adopts New Safety Measures to Guard against Runway Collisions

Many of us stress over whether to take a taxi or a limo to the airport or what to pack. There are many pre-flight things that could happen to ruin the trip. However, for the government of Canada, its chief worry is the safety of the flight itself.

There was a recent incident reported by the Toronto Star, of an Envoy Flight almost colliding collide with a Westjet Boeing 737 that was preparing for its departure for St. John’s International Airport (Newfoundland and Labrador). Both aircraft were on the same parallel departure runaway. Stories of such dangerous near-misses have been getting more common. As a result, the Transportation and Safety Board of Canada and Pearson International Airport have gotten involved to develop preventive measures.

Why Do These Collisions Happen?

According to controllers, most airplanes fail to stop on the inner taxiway. This mostly happens on parallel runways situated on the southern side of the Pearson Airport. Planes cross the designated area meant for arrivals, then go out from the protected runway zone and enter departure lanes creating an obstruction for jets ready for departure. Such instances happen most frequently during busy hours when runways have to deal with multiple arrivals and departures.

Failure to follow the alert messages from controllers also leads to collisions. According to the Star Ottawa bureau chief, Bruce Campion-Smith, the review got approval from both the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and Nav Canada, the agency responsible for air traffic control. The airport authority is also going to issue directives and all U.S. air carriers will have to adhere to the new rules and regulations.

Preventive Measures

The Safety Board of Canada will present a detailed report by the end of the year. In the mean time, airport authorities will be introducing new safety measures such as:

  • Strengthening stoplights on runways for better visibility during day and night.
  • Launching a safety campaign on collisions that follows in the footsteps of former airport authority president and CEO Howard Eng’s 2013 awareness program.
  • Nav Canada is investing $3.5 million to produce specialized radar. This, in conjunction with an improved alert system, will allow for more efficient tracking of aircraft and other ground vehicles. Additional radar equipment will also be made available, with the installation of a third device early next year.

Collaboration by Authorities

Concern over possible collisions has been a constant worry for the Safety Board since 2012.  Airport authorities quoted in the Star article mentioned that joint effort by airlines, airports and controllers is necessary to curb runway accidents.

The Canadian government and airport authorities are working hard to keep you safe in the air. Let Airline Limo keep you safe on the road to and from the airport. To keep up to date on current airline and travel news, visit our blog.