U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced a $28.8 million airfield safety project at DFW International Airport on Thursday, a move aimed at preventing near collisions between jets that have raised concerns about the nation’s travel system.
The project includes a southwest end-around taxiway to reduce the need for aircraft to cross runways 36L and 36R at the airport. Buttigieg is visiting airports across the country as part of a tour to highlight Federal Aviation Administration investments, following an uptick in close calls on airfields. DFW Airport’s new project is expected to be completed in 2025.
He said the safety record of the country’s aviation system is extraordinary and must not be taken for granted. He pointed out that it has been 14 years since the last fatal airline crash, which happened in 2009 when 49 people onboard were killed as a plane was arriving in Buffalo, N.Y.
“The fact that a form of transportation that involves flying through the air, miles above the surface of the ground, in a metal tube at nearly the speed of sound, results in millions of people returning safely and uneventfully home afterward is one of the most extraordinary human achievements and one of the most extraordinary tributes to American ingenuity,” Buttigieg said.
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