FAA: 3 Jets Too Close to Each Other, But Not on Crash Course
The FAA is trying to figure out how three airplanes got too close for comfort on Thursday at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. Steve Centanni reports that at the time that this happened, two planes were taking off at the south end of the runway and one plane from the north was landing ... and they just got, well, too close.
US Secretary of Transportation Ray La Hood held a news conference today, saying, “At no point were these planes on a head-to-head collision course. There was going to be no head-to-head collision at this point. There was a loss of separation; it shouldn’t have happened but because of a well-trained controller at DCA tower, who immediately recognized the situation, and worked to fix it.”
Centanni said that this has caught the attention of Capitol Hill. Congressman John Mica (R-Fla.), the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said, “Such near misses and any operational errors are calls to action. I’m asking our Aviation Subcommittee staff and FAA to thoroughly review what happened.”
Centanni pointed out that this is the same airport last year at which an air traffic controller fell asleep on the job during an all night shift.