Airport Runway Safety Changes
Posted: May 10, 2011 10:30 PM by Parrish Alleman
CORPUS CHRISTI — Before they ever take to the skies, every pilot that takes off from the Corpus Christi International Airport crosses a yellow “hold” line before heading out onto the runway.
“It just tells the pilot to stop here; you’re outside of the safety area. If a plane is landing or taking off they can continue to do so,” Operations Manager Carl Gross said.
Almost all of the taxi ways at the Corpus Christi Airport allow the pilots to make an easy 90 degree angle turn onto the runway.
“At a 90 degree angle, it’s fairly easy to look on both directions of the runway to give yourself a visual confirmation that the runway is clear,” Gross said.
Gross also told us most of the airports around the country feature the same kind of taxi way to runway set-up.
But there is one section of the airport’s runway that is not standard, one leads out onto two different runways.
And instead of the usual 90 degree turn, pilots have to turn nearly a full circle so he says sometimes pilots who aren’t used to flying out of Corpus Christi don’t stop in time and cross over the yellow hold line; which Gross says could be potentially dangerous.
“There is also the potential where a pilot may wind up on the runway inadvertently and that could lead to an incident that could be a little more severe,” Gross said.
Luckily, Gross says there haven’t been any accidents so far but says the Federal Aviation Administration keeps track of every time a plane crosses a hold line by even a couple feet.
And last year he says that happened eight times.
That’s why he says the airport is working with the FAA to make sure all their passengers and pilots take off safely every time.
The airport will work with consultants to come up with plan to deal with the situation either by adding more lights and markings to let pilots know where to stop or extending the runway north to create a 90 degree taxi way entrance.
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