LAX receives federal grant to improve taxiways
Less than six weeks after reopening a main runway after a multimillion-dollar realignment project, Los Angeles International Airport Monday received a $29.6 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to improve the taxiways between the airport's two now-further-apart southern runways.
Space for the taxiway was created by a $250 million runway realignment project that was completed in early April. The nine-month project relocated the 11,000-foot-long, 200-foot-wide southern runway 55 feet further south in an effort to reduce the number of runway incursions, or aircraft “near misses,” at LAX. Serving more than 60 million passengers a year as well as being one of the nation's busiest air cargo centers, LAX has experienced several dozen incursions over the past several years, one of the highest rates of any airport in the nation.
Scheduled to be completed in June 2008, the new taxiway will run parallel between the two southern runways and give planes more maneuvering room on the ground.
Experts have said that the narrow space between the two parallel main runways on the southern side of the airport is a main contributor to the incursion problem.
The new runway configuration is also expected to cut plane idling time on the tarmac, and allow for accommodation of the newest generation of super-sized passenger planes such as the Airbus A380, which visited LAX for the first time in March.
In addition to the taxiway grant, the FAA on Monday also awarded grants totaling $8 million to Los Angeles County and the city of El Segundo to pay for soundproofing of airport neighboring homes. The grants will cover work on about 258 homes in the county neighborhood of Lennox and about 120 homes in El Segundo, located just south of the airport.