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August 28, 2015

ALLENTOWN, PA – FAA final inspections on Runway 13-31 took place yesterday, marking the completion of a runway safety area (RSA) project, started in 2006.  This project was deemed mandatory by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to meet runway design standards for runway safety areas.

The FAA is actively working to improve RSAs at commercial service airports by the end of 2015. The RSA is typically 500 feet wide and extends 1,000 feet beyond runway ends. These RSA’s provide a graded turf area surrounding the runway in the event that an aircraft overruns, undershoots, or veers off the side of the runway. Runways at many airports were built before the current 1,000-foot RSA standard was adopted approximately 20 years ago, as is the case at LVIA. [] “Runway safety area improvements like EMAS have the potential to save lives and minimize damage to property in the event of aircraft runway overruns on the airfield.  We are grateful for the support and cooperation of our federal and state partners in delivering this safety improvement to Lehigh Valley air travelers”, said Executive Director, Charles Everett.

The total project cost was $24.2M, with the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority paying $1.2M of that amount and the remainder funded through Grants provided by the FAA and PA Bureau of Aviation.  The goals of the EMAS project are to improve runway safety, prevent damage to aircraft that might overshoot the runway, and avert serious injury to the aircraft and its passengers.  As mentioned, 1,000 ft. off each runway end is the current standard at LVIA due to the type of aircraft operating at the airport.  With the installation of the EMAS, the Runway 13 end has 298 ft. of RSA and the 31 end has 286 ft.; Runway 13 is perpendicular to Race Street and Runway 31 to Airport Road. The installation of EMAS on both ends of Runway 13-31 is a major safety improvement that provides an FAA-approved alternative to meeting the standard 1,000 ft. turf overrun area for the runway ends.

A standard EMAS installation can stop an aircraft from overrunning the runway at approximately 80 miles per hour. Currently, ESCO’s EMAS is installed at 92 runway ends at 58 airports in the United States, with plans to install EMAS systems at 15 additional U.S. airports.  The full list, as well as more information on the project can be found at: by searching ‘EMAS’.


Lehigh Valley International Airport is conveniently located near Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, Pennsylvania and is served by Allegiant Air, Delta, United, and US Airways with 9 nonstop destinations with connections to the world. LVIA serves a twelve county area with a population base of 3.6 million people. The Airport is easily accessible from communities in eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey areas. For more information on LVIA, visit or