Obama pushes for runway status lights, including at Charlotte airport

by: Jacqueline Fell Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - President Barack Obama is pushing for millions of dollars’ worth of new traffic lights at Charlotte Douglas airport.
The system would provide more warning to pilots preparing to land. A pilot would get a red light on the runway, much like regular street traffic lights.
It's an added safety measure the federal aviation administration says will let pilots and drivers know it's unsafe to cross, enter, or takeoff from a runway.
The Airline Pilots Association worked with the Federal Aviation Administration in developing the types of safety lighting.
The president's budget includes $42 million for runway status lights and the FAA wants them installed at Charlotte Douglas by 2017.
Air traffic controllers still issue clearance to pilots, but the red alert lights are complementary to other warning systems.
Channel 9 asked the Pilots Association if the lights were needed in Charlotte since they're expensive and runways would have to be shut down during installation. Officials said additional safety measures will be needed at Charlotte Douglas as congestion increases.