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New details released in close call involving Air Canada jet

WorldAmericas and CanadaNew details released in close call involving Air Canada jet

A report by US officials has found that two planes came within a kilometer of each other at a Florida airport after air traffic control allowed an American Airlines jet to land on the same runway as Air Canada. The rouge jet was about to take off.

The incident occurred on February 16 just before 9 p.m. at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport in the Tampa Bay area. in the preliminary report Published Thursday, the US National Transportation Safety Board said air traffic control had cleared an American Airlines jet to land on runway 14 from Charlotte, NC.

However, air traffic control also cleared a Toronto-bound Air Canada Rouge aircraft for takeoff on the same runway, despite the fact that the American Airlines jet was on final approach to the runway, which was less than 5.5 kilometers away. Was on

When the American Airlines jet was 2.8 kilometers away, the controller confirmed that the Air Canada Rouge plane was to take off from the runway. About 53 seconds later, American Airlines pilots aborted the landing, known in aviation as a “go-around”.

“What was the reason for your visit?” The controller can be heard asking the American Airlines pilot about the air traffic control recording.

“There was a man still on the runway,” said the American Airlines pilot, referring to an Air Canada Rouge jet that was about to take off.

“It’s a good reason,” replied the controller.

At their closest point, there were two aircraft approximately 1.1 kilometers from each other. There were no injuries and no damage to any aircraft, but the report comes at a time when US airports are seeing an uptick in close calls, also known as runway incursions.

On Wednesday the NTSB and the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) held a safety summit with representatives from industry, unions and aviation experts to discuss these near-misses.

Since January, the NTSB is investigating six runway intrusions. Last month in Austin, Texas, a FedEx cargo plane came within 30 meters of a Southwest Airlines jet. In Burbank, California, two aircraft came within 90 meters of each other after a controller cleared a smaller aircraft to land on the same runway as the other.

There have been no aviation accidents in the US since 2009, but NTSB Chairman Jennifer Homendy Said that these recent events should serve as a “wake-up call”.

“There have been too many close calls and near-collisions recently, any of which could have had disastrous consequences,” he told the summit on Wednesday.

Neither the FAA nor the NTSB have identified an underlying cause to explain the spike in runway intrusions, but Homendy called for adequate training and retraining for employees in the aviation industry and pandemic-induced layoffs and furloughs. Called upon to join and rejoin the workforce after retirement. , The FAA has also pledged to review runway incursion data to identify underlying factors.

“There’s no question that aviation is amazingly safe, but the vigilance can never take a holiday,” Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a statement on Wednesday. “We must ask ourselves difficult and sometimes uncomfortable questions, even when we believe the system is right.”

With files from The Associated Press.

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