Airline Officials Meet to Discuss Alarming Number of Near-Collision Incidents

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As the holiday weekend approaches,  many people are expected to travel, but an alarming number of near-misses at airports and in the skies is growing concerns for some. According to the Wall Street Journal, senior aviation-industry officials and regulators are worried, after reviewing numerous cases of near-collisions on the runways, that the situation may not improve. From a lack of experience to overworked pilots, officials are trying to identify the weaknesses in the industry that could be contributing to the problems.

The meeting convened by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) focused on a series of incidents this year, many of which would have been fatal. The Wall Street Journal reports that the most alarming incident was a “near-collision on a foggy day in early February, when a FedEx cargo plane nearly landed on top of a Southwest Airlines jet taking off from the Austin, Texas, airport, risking the lives of 131 passengers and crew. In January, a pilot’s wrong turn on a New York runway almost led to a collision.”


With travel finally taking off after the COVID pandemic slowed it down, the airline industry got overwhelmed with the sudden return to business, but they did not adjust back into the swing of things smoothly. Despite new technology and increased collaboration, officials have raised concerns over the increased number of new pilots who lack experience, the speed at which pilots are rushed through training, and fatigue from intense work schedules. 

“My biggest concern is, are we making absolutely sure we are not shortcutting training [..] I hear from those out in the field, whether it’s in a cockpit, or in ATC, or on the ground about how they feel like they’re getting rushed through training, and they’re making certain intervals faster than their predecessors. And so that is concerning for me,” said NTSB’s Homendy.


Though fatalities are rare, officials in the aviation industry take the near-fatal incidents seriously. As they try to pinpoint the problems that are causing havoc on America’s airlines, officials are working towards ensuring that the safety of travelers is not jeopardized. With new protocols for safety and training, the FAA is hoping that making these changes will improve the security and operation of airways. 

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