Maine airports review safety standards after deadly crash

8:01 PM, Nov 27, 2012   |    comments
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OWLS HEAD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - That tragic crash at the Knox County Airport is prompting a number of Maine airports to review their own safety rules for operating cars and trucks on the runways.  

Three people died on Nov. 16 when a private plane crashed, shortly after hitting a truck that was crossing the runway at the same time the plane was taking off. 

Knox County Airport manager Jeff Northgraves says all people who drive on the runway are already required to take special training and follow particular radio procedures. However, he plans to recommend that all those people go through new training sessions to make sure they understand the rules and procedures. 

Northgraves says he will be meeting with airport businesses and the airport advisory committee in the next few days to go over the plan.

He also plans to talk with Knox County officials about whether the airport should build a perimeter road around the end of the runway, so planes and cars don't need to share the same space. Knox County owns and operates the airport.

Other Maine airports are also reviewing procedures following the Owls Head crash. 

At the Augusta airport, manager John Guimond says he met with airport staff three days after the crash to go over their policies.

Guimond says pilots at Augusta have no need to drive on the runways, because hangars and other facilities are all grouped together on the same side of the runway. As a result, he says they only allow certain airport  staff members and the FAA to do it. Those people also need special training, he says. Guimond says he knows several other airports are also conducting their own reviews right now.

Guimond says all airports make their local rules following FAA guidelines. And he says it's up to pilots and anyone who drives on or near the runways to know what those rules are, and make sure they're followed. 


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