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U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $1.3 Million in Grants for Airport Vehicle Surveillance Equipment

For Immediate Release
October 1, 2012

Contact: Marcia Alexander-Adams

Phone: (202) 267-3883

WASHNIGTON–U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $1.3 million in grants for Chicago O’Hare, Denver and San Francisco International Airports to buy vehicle surveillance equipment that will increase safety by helping to reduce the risk of conflicts between airport vehicles and aircraft.

“This equipment will help ensure the safety of aircraft passengers and crew, as well as the safety of airport and airline vehicle operators,” said Secretary LaHood. “The safety of everyone involved in the aviation system is our top priority.”

Each of the three airports will receive $421,875 through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP) to buy up to 75 Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) units that will allow air traffic controllers and vehicle drivers to precisely identify vehicle locations on the airfield, especially during low visibility conditions.

The ADS-B units will be installed in vehicles such as fire trucks, snow plows and other airport operations vehicles.

“This grant allows ground equipment operators to have a better situational awareness of where they are on the airfield, which increases airport safety,” said FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta.

The airports selected to receive the grants have operating environments that should benefit from this new surveillance technology. Chicago O’Hare will see enhanced surface coverage of vehicle locations across the busy, complex airfield. At Denver, the vehicle ADS-B units will provide precise vehicle tracking during low-visibility winter weather. At San Francisco, the vehicle units will improve situational awareness during upcoming airport construction projects.

AIP provides $3.35 billion in annual funding for airport improvement projects that are vital to maintaining the safety, capacity and environmental stewardship of our nation’s airports. More than 3,300 airports are eligible for AIP grants benefiting commercial passengers, cargo operations and general aviation activities throughout the nation.

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