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Taxiway edge marker lights waivered (not installed) at 3 Port Authority of New York airports and Philadelphia?
JFK, LGA, EWR and PHL all have the majority of taxiway edges unlighted. These four airports are unique in the eastern part of the United States as International gateway and/or extremely high domestic 24/7 traffic airports waivered from the requirement to have blue taxiway edge lights installed.
Instead, plastic sticks with reflective tape are installed. Although the specifications for the tape when new are extensive, the reflectivity of the tape currently installed at the three airports is minimal and not maintained or monitored. When taxiing at night or during reduced visibility as of November, 2011 the sticks are basically useless window dressing and invisible. The requirements for the waiver mention amber taxiway center line lights. However if center line lights are not available, i.e. a completely unlighted taxiway, the FAA currently is not requiring that aiports close the taxiway at night or during reduced visibility until repairs are made.
This issue is prominent because of several high profile runway/taxiway incursions and collisions. Ironically the FAA is on record stating runway and taxiway incursion avoidance is a high priority.
Why is there a waiver? Why is there no expiration of the waiver? Why are other, much smaller airports with greater budgetary issues, less traffic, and similar weather constraints not waivered?
What other FAA airports approved for Part 121 usage (airlines) have been waivered?