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Travel magazine says Lauderdale, Miami airports among nation’s most dangerous

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International and Miami International airports are among the nation’s 20 most dangerous airports, according to a recent study from Travel & Leisure magazine.

FLL ranked No. 7 with 34 runway incidents and a score of 3.35, while MIA was No. 6, with 47 incidents and a score of 3.47.

Fort Lauderdale airport northside parking, Courtest of FLL.net

The magazine looked at the 35 busiest U.S. airports over the period 2006-2010 and culled Federal Aviation Administration Runway Safety Reports and other individual runway data to determine their rankings.

While everything from weather to wildlife can contribute to an incident on the tarmac, “two-thirds of all runway incursions are caused by pilot deviation,”  Wes Timmons, FAA’s recently retired director of runway safety told the magazine.

Travel & Leisure noted a close call in November 2006 at FLL involving a Mexican private jet that skidded on the runway and burst into flames after landing without deploying its landing gear.

Another incident in August that year at MIA involved a US Airways flight which caught fire on the runway after a tire blew out.

In both cases, Travel & Leisure noted that on-going or recently completed capital improvement projects should enhance runway safety at these busy airports.

The top five dangerous U.S. airports are:

  1. Chicago International: 75 incidents; 5.65 score
  2. Cleveland Hopkins: 45; 5.38
  3. Los Angeles International: 60; 4.41
  4. San Francisco International: 55; 3.88
  5. Honolulu International Airport: 30; 3.62
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