- REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
On Thursday, the campaign plane carrying Republican vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence skidded off the runway after landing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
The rented Boeing 737 was carrying 37 passengers and crew members as it touched down on a wet and windy New York evening.
No injuries have been reported.
The positive resolution to a potentially disastrous event can be attributed to the Engineered Material Arresting System located at the end of the runway.
The system is designed to prevent a runaway airplane from careening into the roads, buildings, and bodies of water commonly found near many airports.
EMAS is made up of massive blocks of material designed to collapse as the wheels of an airplane roll over it, sinking the plane into the runway and bringing it to a safe and gradual stop. The system is designed to be able to stop aircraft traveling at speeds up to 80 mph.
The Federal Aviation Administration began studying the technology in the early 1990s in conjunction with the University of Dayton, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the company Zodiac Arresting Systems in New Jersey.
According to the FAA, more than 60 US airports – including JFK and LaGuardia in New York and O’Hare in Chicago – have installed the technology.
— Josh Einiger (@JoshEiniger7) October 28, 2016
The FAA says that through January the system had stopped 10 overrunning aircraft, with a combined 245 passengers and crew members on board.
Two manufacturers are certified to produce an EMAS. Most of the airports in the US with the technology use Zodiac Arresting Systems‘ (formerly ESCO) crushable cellular cement for its EMAS.
Others have gone with with a product by Runway Safe EMAS that is made of recycled glass-based silica foam.
Here’s a closer look at Zodiac Arresting Systems’ EMASMAX product: