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Pre-teen in airport safety breakthrough

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A twelve-year old boy has come up with a gadget that could prevent a re-run of the Concorde crash, by detecting debris on the runway and alerting pilots before they line-up to land. According to the BBC, the British Airport Authority (BAA) is keen to develop the idea.

Daryn Murray from East Kilbride says he was inspired by the Concorde crash in Paris in 2000, where the supersonic plane is thought to have driven over a piece of metal on the runway. The plane subsequently caught fire and crashed, killing 113 people.

His gadget is a remote controlled device with a camera attached. The device would roll along a track, alongside the runway. Murray explains that the device can spot debris "as small as a nut" and warn the pilot that it is not safe to land.

BAA Scotland's engineering director Colin Crichton said that the device could add to the runway inspections process. He told The BBC "Daryn's idea could offer an additional safety measure, and we're keen to speak to him about how he can develop his idea. We'll be inviting him to Glasgow Airport to go behind the scenes and meet the team who safeguard the runway."

David Aitken, Murray's teacher and head of craft, design and technology at Duncanrig Secondary, said that he expected to be in touch with BAA in the future.

Murray developed his gadget as part of the Young Engineers for Britain contest. He wants to be a mechanical engineer when he grows up. ®

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