Five near-collisions involving airliners that aborted landings prompted the National Transportation Safety Board to call Monday for changes in air traffic control procedures.
In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration, the board said that current procedures should be modified so that in cases where two planes are departing at once, controllers shouldn’t also clear a plane to land at a time it would create the potential for a collision if the flight crew of the landing plane decides to abort the landing and go around for another attempt.
NTSB said there were four such near collisions last year: two in Las Vegas, and one each in New York and Charlotte, N.C. There was also a similar near collision in Las Vegas in 2006.
In one of the incidents last July, a Spirit Airlines Airbus A319 and a Cessna Citation 510, a light jet that is operated by a single pilot and typically seats four people, the two planes came with 100 feet vertically and about 1,000 feet laterally before the pilot of the smaller plane turned off its course to avoid the airliner.