The Federal Aviation Administration is looking to add stoplights at 20 major airports over the next 3 1/2 years, in an effort to prevent collisions and close calls on the runways.
The New York Times reports that the new system would use a computer that would turn on red lights in the runway pavement to indicate to pilots when a runway is in use.
The FAA has been struggling to address runway risks at airports across the country. A congressional report released in late 2007 warned there is a "high risk of a catastrophic runway collision occurring in the United States" because of faltering federal leadership, malfunctioning technology and overworked air traffic controllers.
Around the time that report came out, there were two more near-collisions reported: one at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the other at the Newark, N.J., airport. The so-called "incursions" only underscored the dangers the FAA is trying to address.
The FAA has requested proposals from companies for the new stoplight system and plans to offer $5 million toward technology that could prevent airport collisions, according to the Times article.