SOURCE: AeroBlue.Org

August 29, 2007 12:19 ET

Congress Must Address Flaws in Airport Interstate Commerce, According to AeroBlue.Org

GARWOOD, NJ--(Marketwire - August 29, 2007) - According to AeroBlue.Org, the FAA and NTSB accident investigations of Comair flight 5191 ignored the substandard runway length and negligent airport planning process. All of the 49 people who died were engaged in "Interstate Commerce" and 5 were International passengers, yet airports lack the legal status as "Interstate Commerce" provided to highways, railroads, and pipelines. The primary mission of the FAA is to regulate safety, but it has no process to lengthen unsafe, outdated or substandard runways. FAA runway length regulations actually require aircraft to use runways that are too short before considering lengthening them. The result is increased accidents and restriction of the national economy. Interstate Commerce protection provides a process to meet new safety regulations, improve planning, add capacity, and encourage private investment in airport infrastructure similar to railroads or pipelines.

"If Lexington's Runway 26 met federal guidelines proposed in 1993, this accident may never have happened," said Simeon Hitzel, President of AeroBlue.Org. "Unfortunately, local decision-makers ignore cries for safer air travel and reduced congestion. Perhaps now Lexington Officials have enough data on the numerous safety benefits of longer runways.

"The Urban County Council, who controls the Lexington Bluegrass airport, should be held accountable for failing to lengthen the accident runway for over ten years; however, the courts have granted the County immunity for their decisions that led to 49 fatalities. Bluegrass Airport has a history of pilots using the wrong runway, so additional runway length to protect passenger safety should have been the first priority. The six airlines and 1 Million interstate and international passengers that use Lexington-Bluegrass Airport (KLEX) annually deserve safe and efficient runways, but instead they get a short runway obstructed by trees and poles, with broken asphalt and lights that don't work. With 660 million annual US passengers expected to reach 1 Billion, the regulatory mechanism to plan, protect or enhance airport system capacity must be improved," concluded Hitzel.

AeroBlue.Org has identified several significant gaps in airport regulation and planning that prevent safe and efficient Interstate and International Commerce. Bad planning, policies and oversight result in higher fatal accident rates, increasing flight delays, inconvenient travel, higher air pollution and wasted tax dollars.

AeroBlue.Org organizes grassroots support to enhance aviation's contributions to our economy and quality of life by urging protection of Airport Interstate Commerce, improved state airport system safety, public policy, and funding oversight.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Simeon Hitzel
    Email Contact

    THE Aviation Grassroots Network
    PO BOX 288
    Garwood, NJ 07027
    908 477-4000