After string of close calls, Logan Airport gets largest share of federal runway improvement funding

Local News

The money will be used to simplify the airport’s airfield layout and repair runway pavement.

Boston Logan Airport was awarded $44.9 million Wednesday by the FAA to improve its runways. Michael Dwyer/AP Photo

After a slew of close calls at Boston Logan Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is awarding the airport the most money of any airport in the country to improve runway safety as part of a new initiative.

Logan will receive $44.9 million to simplify its airfield layout by removing part of two taxiways, the FAA said in a press release Wednesday. The money will also be used to repair the pavement on Runway 15R/33L, the airport’s longest runway, as well as a few taxiways.

“The FAA is serious about ending runway incursions, and we are putting substantial resources behind our efforts,” Associate Administrator for Airports Shannetta Griffin said in the release. 

Planes at Logan have come close to disaster several times this year already. The latest incident happened Aug. 14 when a Spirit Airlines plane came too close to a runway hold line, which is essentially a stop line for planes. An air traffic controller canceled an American Airlines’ flight takeoff as a result.

In June, a United Airlines plane and a Delta Airlines plane collided at a low speed. A similar incident happened in March when a United plane clipped another United plane. The previous month, a charter jet took off without permission, forcing a JetBlue pilot to take “evasive action” to avoid hitting it.

No one has been hurt in any of these incidents, and the FAA has investigated them. But the deadly Logan Airport plane crash of 1973, for which a 50-year memorial was held late last month, still looms large over the airport.

The FAA is giving out a total of $121 million to help improve runway safety, it said in the release. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport was the only other airport to be awarded a similarly large sum of money from the FAA. It will receive $38.9 million for airfield simplification and lighting.

Airports in Washington D.C., Detroit, Toledo, Richmond, Jackson Hole, and Naples were also awarded money.

Massport did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.