LAX to Pilot Earthquake Early Warning System via Innovation Funding

LAX to Pilot Earthquake Early Warning System via Innovation Funding

As part of National Preparedness Month, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has announced that it will pilot a new earthquake early warning system designed to provide airport employees and guests extra seconds of warning and automatically implement safety precautions prior to an expected earthquake.

LAX earthquake warning system
The Earthquake Early Warning System will relay emergency messages quickly to employees and guests through a variety of channels, including the airport’s Emergency Visual Paging System.

The early warning system will be tested at one of LAX’s terminals using $150,000 from the city’s Innovation and Performance Commission. The funding was approved by Los Angeles City Council, and was signed last week by Mayor Garcetti.

Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), said:

“We know it's not a question of if, but rather when, the next earthquake will hit, and the ability to offer even a few precious seconds of warning can make a difference in helping to save lives and property. We thank the City Council and Mayor Garcetti for helping us to pilot this new technology, which is another step in making LAX the most prepared and resilient airport in the world.”

The early warning system, which will be online in 2022, will monitor for earthquake activity through the U.S. Geological Survey’s ShakeAlert, which is linked to seismic sensors. It will then issue automated alerts depending upon the anticipated severity of the earthquake as determined by computer algorithms. At LAX, the system will automatically trigger emergency notifications to our terminals to alert passengers prior to an anticipated earthquake. The pilot project also will investigate the possibility of automatically shutting down the airport’s fuel hydrant system to help prevent jet fuel from flowing during an anticipated earthquake.

The project will be led by LAWA’s Emergency Management Division in partnership with the Information Management and Technology Division. The funding comes from a $1 million Innovation Fund, which is designed to provide one-time funds to City of Los Angeles departments to test new ideas that can make the city work better.

This article was originally published by Los Angeles World Airports.

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