NTSB says FAA should modify air traffic control procedures

Monday, July 1, 2013
By George Hatcher

July 1, 2013
WASHINGTON – Following the investigation of five incidents in which commercial jetliners came within hazardous proximity of other aircraft while arriving or departing at major U.S. airports, the National Transportation Safety Board today has recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration modify the rules for air traffic controllers to ensure the safe separation of airplanes during go-around maneuvers.

A go-around – an aborted landing attempt by an airplane on final approach – can be initiated at the direction of ATC or by the flight crew upon a determination that circumstances are unfavorable for a safe landing.

The safety hazard identified in the five incidents all occurred when an airplane that was on approach to the airport aborted the landing attempt and initiated a go-around maneuver, which put the go-around airplane on a flightpath that intersected with that of another airplane that was either departing or arriving on another runway of the same airport.

Although current FAA procedures have specific requirements for ensuring the separation between two airplanes that are departing from different runways but that have intersecting flightpaths, they do not prohibit controllers from clearing an airplane to land at a time when it would create a potential collision hazard with another aircraft if the pilots of the landing airplane perform a go-around.

In such situations, a flight crew performing a go-around may be put into the position of having to execute evasive maneuvers at low altitude and high closing speeds with little time to avoid a mid-air collision. The NTSB has determined that existing FAA separation standards and operating procedures are inadequate and need to be revised to ensure the safe separation between aircraft near the airport environment.

The NTSB has recommended that the FAA modify air traffic control procedures so that an airplane that executes a go-around instead of landing as expected, will not be put on a potential collision course with another airplane either in the process of landing or departing.

The incidents upon which this safety recommendation is based are listed below.

• Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
On July 30, 2012, at 1:44 p.m., a Spirit Airlines A-319 was executing a go-around as a Dotcom Cessna Citation 510 was on short final for landing on another runway. The two planes came within about 1,300 feet laterally and 100 feet vertically of each other.

• New York John F. Kennedy International Airport
On July 30, 2012, at 4:04 p.m., an American Airlines B-737 was executing a go-around as a Pinnacle Airlines CRJ 200 regional jet was departing from another runway. The two planes came within about 1,800 feet laterally and 300 feet vertically of each other.

• Charlotte-Douglas International Airport
On July 14, 2012, at 11:44 a.m., an ExpressJet Embraer 145 regional jet was executing a go-around as an Air Wisconsin Canadair RJ was departing from another runway. The two planes came within about 1,000 feet laterally and 400 feet vertically of each other.

• Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
On April 26, 2012, at 11:25 a.m., a JetBlue Airways A-320 was executing a go-around as a Learjet 60 business jet was departing from another runway. The two planes came within about 1,800 feet laterally and 100 feet vertically of each other.

• Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
On January 27, 2006, at 5:44 p.m., a near mid-air collision occurred when a United Airlines A-320 was executing a go-around as an American Airlines B-757 jet was departing from another runway. The two planes came within about 1,400 feet laterally and 300 feet vertically of each other.

The complete safety recommendation letter to the FAA, which includes additional information about the incidents referenced above, is available at http://go.usa.gov/busC.
###

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

RSS Plane Crash News

Blogroll

  • Air Consumer.gov
  • AirCrashConsultants
  • Airfleets
  • Airliners.net
  • AOPA
  • Bird Strike Database
  • Bird Strike Database Query
  • EASA
  • FAA
  • Find A Pilot
  • Frixo
  • IATA
  • International Civil Aviation Organization
  • Montreal Convention MC99 English
  • Nasa
  • NOAA
  • NTSB
  • RITA
  • U.S. Office of Special Counsel
August 2018
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
  • 3 Dead, 18 Injured in Poland Bus Crash https://t.co/eKYAL3pS2A
    about 19 hours ago
  • Lufthansa Flight Returns to Frankfurt with Cracked Windshield https://t.co/BwvEikMAo0
    about 20 hours ago
  • Small Plane Crashes in Maryland; 2 Dead https://t.co/JuX4ZLt7dJ
    about 20 hours ago
  • ASL Airlines Belgium Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Liege https://t.co/KQEZfxzyRD
    about 20 hours ago
  • 3 dead after plane crash near Fort Simpson, N.W.T., 2 survivors treated | CBC News https://t.co/aHwG7PekUQ
    about 2 days ago