Airfield Safety is a Top Priority at Logan Airport

March 1, 2011

Ed Freni

The safety of the airfield is a top priority at Boston Logan International Airport, which was rated 2008’s Airport of the Year for safety by the 55,000-member Air Line Pilots Association, International.

Massport is responsible for maintaining a safe and efficient airfield, which includes, proper signage, lighting, markings, maintenance and ice and snow removal on each of Logan’s six runways.

Two or three times a day, Operations Shift Managers and other airport personnel check the airfield for any damage or debris.

A great safety tool is the GPS technology that Massport has installed in all vehicles with airfield access.

Massport vehicles are equipped with two-way radios and the drivers also have cell phones that allow for instant contact with the FAA Control Tower, Airport Operations and Shift Managers.

Since Logan is adjacent to Boston Harbor, Massport has installed a radar site on the airfield that detects and monitors ship movements in the channel.  The radar provides the FAA Control Tower with the most updated information relating to ships passing by the airport.

A Foreign Object and Debris (FOD) detection pilot program is in place at the airport designed to identify items on the airfield that could pose a problem for aircraft.

The state-of-the art technology will report the whereabouts of debris triggering an immediate response to the area.

Logan has an Airport Safety Alliance Team made up of a variety of airport employees that meet monthly to discuss current and future safety items.

An Airport Safety Alliance Fair is held annually featuring guest speakers/safety demonstrations, films and vendor’s displaying new items and materials.

All employees who drive on the airfield are subject to several training sessions and on field driving tests before they are permitted access.

Massport has also enhanced runway safety by installing  an (EMAS), Engineered Material Arresting System,  at the end of two runways. EMAS consists of crushable material that is designed to safety decelerate an aircraft beyond the end of a runway. This proven technology greatly enhances safety in the very unlikely event that an aircraft  travels beyond the paved end of the runway.

In addition, Massport has built inclined safety area ramps at the end of two other runways. These ramps are used in a similar fashion as EMAS.  Both EMAS and inclined safety area ramps provide an additional level of safety for aircraft when operating at Logan.

Airport runway status lights have been installed on the airfield which advise pilots of potential traffic conflicts. The independent and automated system uses red lights to warn aircraft when it is unsafe to enter or cross an active runway. Massport has always been in the forefront on airfield safety programs, initiatives, pilot programs and purchasing the best safety technology available.

  • pbr90

    Has anyone ever heard of floating docks that can provide a buffer at the end of runways, and docks – which prevent plane from going off the edge?

    Certainly, Logan needs these kinds of safety items, or enlarge the airport with Eminent Domain powers.