Saturday, December 15, 2007

America's Most Dangerous Airports

From Even more reasons not to fly.

Forbes editors examined five years of post-9/11 FAA data involving 452 airports with control towers reporting incidents. Excluded were non-commercial flights, single-engine craft and cargo flights. Each airport was ranked by the total number of incidents. More serious accidents involving deaths or injury were given more weight. An overall score was derived and then adjusted to account for an airport's traffic levels.

1. North Las Vegas

(63 incidents, five serious)
Reliever airport that suffers from congestion, traffic growth in Las Vegas

2. Charlotte Douglas International
(15 incidents, one serious)
Ordinarily a safe airport, in 2003 an Air Midwest aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 19 passengers and two crew members.

3. Long Beach, California
(78 incidents, none serious)
Not designed to handle current traffic loads. Complicated runway network.

4. Phoenix Sky Harbor International
(49 incidents, three serious)
New buildings and ongoing construction interfere with control towers' ability to visually track aircraft.

5. Los Angeles International
(95 incidents, eight serious)
Tightly packed grid forces all arriving aircraft to cross runways used for takeoff.

6. Boston-Logan International
(53 incidents, two serious)
Difficult to navigate. Pilots say the ground radar system works poorly in inclement weather. Fog, rain, low visibility are often the rule.

7. Newark International

(36 incidents, three serious)
Congested international gateway. Poorly marked taxiways. Gate space tight, difficult to navigate.

8. Chicago-O’Hare International
(68 incidents, eight serious)
Major hub. Extremely congested. Terrible weather. Airport accounts for one-sixth of all delays nationally.

9. Philadelphia International
(36 incidents, two serious)
Modern airport with outdated runway surveillance. High number of incidents for airport size

10. Daytona Beach
(15 incidents, four serious)
Crowded leisure travel airspace, nearby student flight school adds to incursion risk.

11. Chicago Midway International
(14 incidents, one serious)
Short runways bordered by nearby residential neighborhood require steep ascent. Airport suffers bad winter weather, low cloud ceiling.

12. Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International
(14 incidents, four serious)
Major destination for snowbird traffic from the Northeast and Midwest. Finished worse than much busier Miami International.


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