Safety In The Skys

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The question of how safe is it to fly has been raised several times in Kentucky in the past couple weeks with an unusually high amount of aviation accidents in the Commonwealth. Robert Barnett is the manager of the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport in Kentucky. He said even at a small airport like Bowling Green's there are still a lot of precautions that are taken.

"The Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport is an uncontrolled field, which means we do not have a control tower. Therefore there are precautions and recording procedures in place and it's understood by pilots in the community and transient pilots to make sure and report positions, to request instructions."

Barnett said Bowling Green's airport must under go a rigorous inspection by the FAA every year to be sure the airport is following all safety standards.

He said because Bowling Green doesn't have a tower, it's up to the pilot to radio in their location when they get close to the airport. Because of the post 9/11 mind set about flying, Barnett says today's aviators don't usually have problems with safety while flying.

"So if a pilot wanted to come into Bowling Green, when they get within a certain distance of our airspace, they are required to report their position, altitude. direction, intentions, things of that nature."

"In today's aviation society, people are conscience anymore about reporting position and reporting procedures and things of that nature, we've been very fortunate."

Barnett said Bowling Green's airport is large enough to bring in planes similar in size to flight 5191. He says the airport has two runways, of which it's primary runway is 6,500 feet. The airport completes approximately 65,000 take offs and landings each year.