NEW YORK — Officials say a field of aerated concrete blocks that crumble under the weight of an aircraft helped prevent Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence’s campaign plane from barreling off a runway and onto a New York highway.

Arrestor beds have been installed at dozens of airports across the country in recent years. The New York-area’s three major airports are among the airports that have them.

The FAA says arrestor beds have prevented potential disasters at least 10 previous times since 1999.

The Boeing 737 carrying Pence, 36 other passengers and 11 crew members made a hard landing in a rainstorm Thursday night. The pilot slammed on the brakes and began to slide sideways. When it stopped in the arrestor bed, passengers could smell burning rubber. No one was hurt.