Sunday, April 21, 2013

Engineered Material Arresting System: Lafayette Regional Airport (KLFT), Louisiana

Flyers, motorists and those who live and work near Lafayette Regional Airport may be safer thanks to new runway safety improvements unveiled Friday.

The airport, between the Vermilion River and U.S. 90, lacks additional land to expand. As a result, its Runway Safety Area did not meet traditional safety requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration, Sherri LeBas, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, said.

The FAA allowed the airport to install an alternative safety system, Director of Aviation Greg Roberts said.

At each end of the airport, where runways approach the river and U.S. 90, engineered materials arresting system beds were installed.

They are lightweight, crushable concrete beds that gently slow down aircraft.

The beds are made of crushed concrete baked into forms, said Tim Gaines, URS Corp, an engineering firm. Four-foot by 4-foot blocks of the material varying from 6 to 27 inches thick, are placed where the runway ends, he said.

When an aircraft overshoots the runway or encounters an emergency, the plane’s wheels would strike the beds, which causes the plane to gently slow down without damaging the aircraft or jarring the passengers.

The beds on the southern end of the airport are about 500 feet from the Evangeline Thruway, where thousands of motorists pass each day.

The project costs $8.7 million, with the state providing $435,000 and the federal government paying the rest, LaBas said.

Story and Photo:

No comments:

Post a Comment