|TRAFICANT, James A., Jr.,|
APRIL 15, 1998
Washington, D.C. – U. S. Rep. James A. Traficant, Jr. (D–OH) wants the
Federal Aviation Administration to make the installation of enhanced vision
technologies at U.S. airports part of the Clinton Administration's aviation
safety agenda announced earlier today. "If the FAA is truly interested
in dramatically improving aviation safety, it will make enhanced vision
technologies a key part of its agenda," noted Traficant in a letter sent
this afternoon to FAA Administrator Jane Garvey. Traficant is a senior
member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation.
Last month Traficant introduced legislation to require U.S. airports to install enhanced vision technologies to replace or enhance conventional landing light systems over the next ten years. The bill defines enhanced vision technologies as laser guidance, ultraviolet guidance, and cold cathode technologies. Traficant's bill makes the installation of these technologies eligible for FAA funding under the airport improvement program.
"It is my understanding that the FAA will work with the aviation industry to develop a strategy to prevent crashes in which airplanes land short of or overrun runways,"said Traficant in his letter to Garvey. "I also understand that the FAA will be working to reduce the number of controlled flight into terrain accidents. Enhanced vision technologies should be an integral part of these important efforts."
According to the Flight Safety Foundation, loss of flight crew situational awareness is the primary cause of most airplane accidents. "Enhanced vision technologies represent a dramatic breakthrough in improving flight crew situational awareness during airplane landings -- especially in low visibility situations," noted Traficant.
In his letter to the FAA, Traficant noted that laser guidance
systems provide pilots with a visual navigation flight path from as far
as 20 miles from the runway, with the
precision of an advanced instrument landing system. "Best of all, the installation of enhanced vision technologies to replace or enhance conventional landing light systems will require no additional aircraft equipment," asserted Traficant.
In tests structured by the FAA and the U.S. Air Force, ultraviolet electro-optical guidance systems (UVEOGS) were visible up to a half a mile under 700 feet visibility conditions. These tests indicated that when visibility conditions are 700 feet, an aircraft pilot can detect a UVEOGS cue on the heads-up display and transfer to actual visual approach guidance at a distance of at least 2,400 feet from the runway. UVEOGS are also compatible with the enhance ground proximity warning system (EGPWS). The actual location and image of a runway, anchored to earth, can be displayed in concert with the EGPWS ground contour display. "The combination of UVEOGS and EGPWS would mark a significant advance in preventing controlled flight into terrain accidents," said Traficant.
"Enhanced vision technologies have been employed by the U.S. military, NASA, the U.S. Park Police and private companies such as Mobil," added Traficant. "They work, and they work well. Given the fact that they use less energy and are less costly to maintain than conventional runway lighting systems, they are also cost effective."
Traficant wants to include his bill, the Airport Safety Act, in legislation pending before the Aviation Subcommittee to reauthorize the programs of the FAA.2009