When Governor Mike Pence's plane skidded off the runway at Laguardia, everyone wanted to know what stopped it. The answer, EMAS.
EMAS or Engineered Material Arresting system. Basically, it's runway road that is made up of a product that crushes underneath the weight of a plane and acts as a stopping and cushioning agent.
Here's a tweet from the FAA about it. They call it a crushable concrete system. EMAS is on 103 runways at 61 airports in the US. Why doesn't every airport have this system? They don't need it.
The FAA requires you have a thousand feet of clear space at the end of the runway or if you don't have that kind of space, you have the EMAS. For instance, PTI in Greensboro has the clear space so they don't use EMAS.
This may be the first time you're hearing about EMAS, but it's come into play 10 times over the last 17 years.
JFK airport has 3 incidents listed, the closest airport to us with an EMAS stop is the Greenville Downtown airport in South Carolina in 2006. And the last EMAS related incident happened just this year in January at the Chicago Executive Airport.