Air Traffic Control Error Leads to Near-Miss Between Two Jets on Austin Runway

A near-collision incident at an Austin, Texas airport last year, caused by an air traffic control mistake, has highlighted ongoing issues with runway safety in the US. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) identified a lack of proper training and safety technology as key factors in the incident, where a FedEx cargo plane narrowly avoided colliding with a Southwest Airlines jet due to both being cleared simultaneously on a foggy runway. This event is part of a concerning trend, with 23 near-miss incidents reported in 2023, prompting calls for enhanced safety measures, including the installation of surface detection systems at airports.
  • A mistake by an air traffic controller led to a near-collision between two jets at an Austin, Texas airport.
  • In 2023, there were 23 incidents of near-collisions on US airport runways.
  • The NTSB cited inadequate training and a lack of safety technology as factors in the Austin incident.
  • The FAA plans to install surface detection systems at Austin and other airports by the end of 2025 to prevent similar incidents.
  • Investigations are ongoing to determine the root causes of the increasing number of close calls on runways.
  • Safety inspectors are advocating for more technology on the ground to help air traffic controllers and pilots prevent near-collisions.
  • About 40 US airports have advanced equipment for ground movement visibility, but similar technologies in aircraft cockpits are not widespread.
  • The recent FAA bill allows airports up to five years to install necessary technologies, prioritizing airports based on need.

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