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PRESS RELEASE
MAYOR'S OFFICE: JULIE WONG
CONTACT: (213) 9778-0741

NANCY CASTLES
CONTACT:(310) 646-5260

October 13, 2003
LAX Press Release

NASA SIMULATION SHOWS NEW TAXIWAYS MAY INCREASE SAFETY AT LAX

LOS ANGELES, CA (OCTOBER 13, 2003) - A new NASA study shows that the addition of proposed center taxiways at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) could improve safety on the airport's runways and taxiways. "The results of the most recent NASA study provides further evidence that the Enhanced Safety and Security Master Plan for LAX will go a long way toward improving airfield safety and thus reducing the possibility of runway incursions," said Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn.

In June 2003, NASA's air traffic control tower simulator, FutureFlight Central (FFC), located at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, conducted a study of a proposed center taxiway at LAX to help prevent runway incursions. Participating in the simulations were four LAX-based Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic controllers and an official from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association acting as a technical advisor. Observing the study were officials from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and representatives from major passenger and cargo air carriers.

"FutureFlight Central allowed LAX controllers to experience airport traffic operations with the center taxiway and to provide critical input with regards to airport safety, efficiency, and manageability," said Michael Madson, FFC project manager. "They concluded that the center taxiway could reduce runway incursions in the area of the airport where they are most common."

A total of 12 air traffic simulations were conducted during the three-day test period. The simulations assessed a variety of airport operating conditions due to weather and the amount of inbound and outbound air traffic. Quantitative data from these simulations compared favorably with data collected from baseline studies conducted at FFC in 2001. Draft results of the study are published on the FutureFlight Central Website. The project report is available here.

The study was conducted for HNTB, Los Angeles, airport consultants, as part of Mayor Hahn's LAX Master Plan to modernize the airport for improved safety and security. Los Angeles International is the world's fifth busiest airport.

Under the LAX Master Plan, Runways 24L and 25L on the south airfield would be relocated to accommodate new center taxiways and to improve runway separation. Runway 25L would be relocated approximately 56 feet south and Runway 24L on the north field would be relocated approximately 340 feet south. Relocation of Runway 24L would require the demolition of existing Terminals 1, 2 and 3, and the northern portion of the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

NASA FutureFlight Central is a national air traffic control and management test facility dedicated to solving the present and emerging safety and capacity problems of the nation's airports. The two-story facility offers a 360-degree full-scale, real-time simulation of an airport, where controllers, pilots, and airport personnel can interact to optimize operating procedures and test new technologies. FFC has conducted simulations of various airports including San Francisco and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airports.

For more information about FutureFlight Central, visit the FutureFlight Central site area. For more information about the LAX Master Plan, visit: http://www.laxmasterplan.org.
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