LOS ANGELES, June 24 (UPI) -- A new, $83-million taxiway at Los Angeles International Airport is opening after a year of construction, officials said.
The new centerline taxiway is expected to reduce the risk of collision when airliners cross one of two runways on the south side of the busy airport, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
"This is an immense safety improvement because it eliminates the circumstances that lead to many runway incidents on the south airfield, including some very serious incidents," Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
The taxiway should reduce the number of incursions by acting as a buffer between runways. After landing, pilots will be directed to turn onto the taxiway to await clearance to cross the inner runway.
"The center taxiway is like a safety valve," said Jon Russell, a commercial pilot and a regional safety official for the Air Line Pilots Association. "Pilots can no longer make a straight shot across the airfield. They will have to slow down and make a turn onto the center taxiway. It keeps planes moving and simplifies the controller's job."
The new taxiway marks the completion of a $333 million package of improvements to the airport's south side, the newspaper said.