Rhode Island's TF Green Airport has started the installation of three engineered materials arrestor systems (EMAS) at its secondary runway, in order to stop jetliners in emergencies.
The move is part of a $250m airport improvement plan and installation is expected to be completed within one week.
The light-density EMAS has the potential to stop a Boeing 737 traveling up to 61mph.
Commenting on the security system, EMAS project manager Brian Bennett said: "We don't have room for a standardised runway safety area, which is typically 1,000ft long. So, we have reduced that length significantly by putting this EMAS bed in."
The second EMAS zone will be installed in 2015 at the other end of the runway, while the third zone is expected to be built at one end of the main runway in 2016-2017.
TF Green Airport also plans to extend its runway, construct a glycol-removal plant to protect the groundwater, in addition to other improvements over the next three years.
All the projects at the airport are being funded by US Federal Aviation Administration.