The government is taking too long to develop a useful bird-detecting radar that might prevent incidents like last month's dramatic splashdown of a US Airways airliner, officials for the nation's largest pilots union said Monday.
It's been 10 years since the National Transportation Safety Board recommended the Federal Aviation Administration develop a radar system that enables airline pilots to avoid birds. The FAA is testing experimental systems at some airports, but agency officials caution the technology is unproven and still needs years of refinements.
"That is not a satisfactory timeframe," Rory Kay, a Boeing 767 captain and the Air Line Pilots Association's safety chairman, told reporters. ALPA included the bird problem among the union's top safety priorities for 2009.
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