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FAA Says New Ground Radar System Could Have Helped Prevent Detroit Collision With PM-Planes

December 5, 1990

FAA Says New Ground Radar System Could Have Helped Prevent Detroit Collision With PM-Planes Collide, Bjt

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A new ground radar system to be installed at airports in Detroit and 29 other cities will help air traffic controllers prevent accidents like the one in Detroit, a federal official said.

The new system is designed to track vehicle and aircraft movement on runways, Robert Bartanowicz, supervisor of the Federal Aviation Administration Academy in Oklahoma City, said Tuesday.

″It gives us a video map of the airport on the radar screen,″ Bartanowicz said. ″It can paint runways, ramp areas and pickup targets such as trucks and aircraft.

″It will especially be useful during periods of low visibility,″ he said.

Detroit, which doesn’t have ground radar, is among the first 10 cities scheduled to receive the Airport Surface Detection Equipment 3 sometime after March, he said.

A collision between two jetliners on a Detroit runway Monday killed eight people and injured 24 others. A transcript obtained by NBC indicated the pilot of one plane told an air traffic controller moments before the accident that he was lost in the fog.

Bartanowicz said the FAA currently is testing the system in Pittsburgh.

″These are highly reliable and much better, much improved,″ Bartanowicz said. ″It’s a good way of directing surface traffic.″

He said tests on the model in Pittsburgh are not complete. But the FAA academy is set to receive one for training in March 1991. He said other models will be installed in airports sometime after that.

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