Despite a recent reduction in air traffic due to economic factors, congestion on airport runways remains a safety concern. The nation's aviation system is still expected to grow and become more crowded in the coming years, exacerbating concerns about ground safety issues, including runway incursions, which occur when aircraft enter runways without authorization. This statement addresses (1) recent trends in runway incursions, (2) steps taken to improve runway safety, and (3) what more could be done. This statement is based on GAO's November 2007 report issued to this Subcommittee on runway safety. GAO's work on that report included surveying experts on the causes of runway incidents and accidents and the effectiveness of measures to address them, reviewing safety data, and interviewing agency and industry officials. This statement also contains information from FAA on recent incursions and actions taken since November 2007.
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