June 4, 2014

The FAA will conduct an operational evaluation of the enhanced final approach runway occupancy signal (eFAROS), a runway safety system developed and adapted for Logan International Airport (BOS) by MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

The evaluation will begin later this month, at a date to be determined, and continue for at least three months. MIT Lincoln Lab has developed training materials so pilots will be aware of the operational concept and protocol when eFAROS indicates that the runway is (or is soon to be) occupied.

When in operation, eFAROS flashes the existing precision approach path indicator (PAPI) lights directly indicating to pilots on final approach that the runway is not safe for landing since it is occupied, or soon to be occupied, by one or more targets.

The existing PAPI lights have been modified to flash if runways 15R/33L, 4R/22L, 4L/22R, 27 or 32 are occupied and there is arriving traffic.

It is an experimental system autonomously driven by safety logic based on aircraft location from airport surveillance radars (ASRs), surface detection radars (ASDE-3 or ASDE-X) and multilateration information from the ASDE-X surveillance system.

The FAA expects eFAROS to prevent the occurrence of both runway land-over incidents, and occupied runway accidents.

More details are available on the eFAROS project’s website.