NTSB: FAA Needs Faster Runway Safety Progress

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Officials who made safety recommendations after a plane crash that killed 49 people criticized the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday for not implementing two of them fast enough.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark Rosenker told FAA's acting administrator there has been "unacceptable response" to two suggestions about runway checks.

Comair flight 5191 crashed after trying to take off from the wrong runway at Lexington's airport - a general aviation strip too short for commercial jets. NTSB cited the pilots' failure to notice clues they were on the wrong runway as the primary cause of the accident.

The NTSB recommended numerous changes after the accident, including a new rule requiring pilots to confirm their runway location before takeoff and another that would only allow air traffic controllers to clear a plane for takeoff after it had crossed all runway intersections.

Rosenker's letter said not enough progress had been made on those two recommendations. But FAA spokeswoman Diane Spitaliere said the agency recently approved the regulations Rosenker is seeking and is just waiting for them to be published.

"We're done," Spitaliere said. "It's approved. It's at the Federal Register."

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