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Second Plane Collision at Hobby Airport - A Possible Remedy
Runway Incursions Kept Secret, as Collisions and Near Misses Grow
This new runway-incursion incident comes less than one month after another collision at Hobby between two private jets.
While virtually all of the recommended fixes for this runway incursion problem are expensive and will take a long time to become operational, there may be an inexpensive but effective way to tackle the deadly problem using AI, says an MIT-trained engineer and inventor teaching at the George Washington University.
But most such potentially deadly runway incursions are kept secret, the New York Times reported recently, noting that "current and former air traffic controllers said in interviews that close calls were happening so frequently that they feared it was only a matter of time until a deadly crash occurred."
Unfortunately virtually all of the proposals for reducing this unnecessary risk are very expensive and would take a long time to implement, says an MIT-trained professor with two U.S. patents and several technical papers to his credit.
That's why Prof John Banzhaf is so concerned that authorities are largely ignoring an obvious and inexpensive approach which could be tested in a month in virtually any university computer science lab, and become operational at major airports shortly thereafter.
Banzhaf is an MIT-trained engineer with 2 U.S. patents and a number of technical papers who analyzes safety problems. Indeed, his ideas for improving the design of school buses to make them much safer for the children they carry were adopted as safety standards by the U.S. government.
His idea in a nutshell is to use already existing AI software to monitor airport radio transmissions, and to then warn controllers of possible runway incursions; eventually also possibly providing the AI computer program with input from other existing technologies including ground-based radar, digital cameras and complex target-analytics software already in use and tested in airports such as Miami's.
In summary, the professor asks whether a simple test of using AI to warn about possible runway incursions isn't warranted, especially now that so many life-threatening near crashes have occurred already just this year.