As the fourth busiest airport in the world, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport often has airplane traffic jams that rival the gridlock on the region’s highways.

Well, OK, maybe it’s not that chaotic. But when a plane lands on a DFW runway but then has to taxi across one or two active runways to get to its gate, the result is lost time for air travelers — and the potential for deadly airplane collisions.

Local and federal officials aim to fix some of the problems associated with the runways and taxiways at the airport, which is now nearly 45 years old.

On Friday afternoon, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao visited DFW and announced that her office had signed a letter of intent to provide $180 million in funding to build perimeter taxiways — also sometimes called end-around taxiways — at DFW Airport.

Essentially, when an aircraft lands at DFW, it will be able to taxi to the end of its runway and go around all the other active runways, rather than cutting across them.

“This will reduce the risk of inadvertent runway incursions,” Chao said during a news conference Friday afternoon at DFW’s Terminal B, where a handful of airport, FAA and American Airlines workers gathered to hear her speak. “These improvements are expected to reduce delays by 7 percent over the next 20 years, saving more than $270 million.”

To continue reading this story in its original format, go here.