Another Near Fatal But Preventable Runway Incursion Occurs at Reagan Airport

Especially With Some Fatal, Isn't It Time to Try Using AI To Assist Controllers?
WASHINGTON - May 29, 2024 - PRLog -- Yesterday dozens of passengers came close to death when two airplanes, one an American Airlines passenger jet, almost collided at high speed on a runway at Reagan National Airport.

In January, five people died, and almost 400 more lives were put at risk, by a fiery crash of two airplanes at another airport.

This is only the latest crash between two planes at an airport, and many more potentially life-threatening near crashes at major U.S. airports recently, many of which are kept secret.

So it may be time to turn to a new technology - AI -  to reduce the risk, says professor John Banzhaf, an MIT graduate with two U.S. patents who studies safety, and who's proposals for safer school bus design were adopted by the U.S. government.

As the Wall Street Journal just reported:
Near Misses and Runway-Traffic Jams: The Risks Your Flight Faces at the Airport
Officials seek solutions after an uptick in serious close calls in 2023 (

Unfortunately virtually all of the proposals for reducing this unnecessary risk are very expensive and would take a long time to implement, says this MIT-trained professor with two U.S. patents and several technical papers to his credit.

That's why Prof 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, including his own at GWU, and become operational at major airports shortly thereafter.

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 and seem to be increasing.

Professor, George Washington University
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor
Fellow, World Technology Network
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
Inventor of the "Banzhaf Index"
(202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418   @profbanzhaf

GW Law
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