Boston Herald

FAA issues safety alert

- By Gayla Cawley gcawley@bostonhera­

The Federal Aviation Administra­tion is cracking down on safety protocols, citing “six serious runway incursions” that occurred since January.

These incidents were discussed at a safety summit on March 15, a meeting that followed a “call to action” issued by the acting FAA administra­tor, “to ensure focus and attention on risks to the aviation system.”

“In recent months, a number of notable and high visibility events have occurred in the National

Airspace System,” stated the FAA alert issued on Wednesday.

“While the overall numbers do not reflect an increase in incidents and occurrence­s, the potential severity of these events is concerning.”

According to the alert, six serious runway incursions have occurred since January, including an incident at John F. Kennedy Internatio­nal Airport in New York City, “involving a taxiing aircraft narrowly avoiding a departing aircraft.”

The FAA also cited a landing aircraft that came within 100 feet of a departing aircraft” at AustinBerg­strom Internatio­nal Airport in Texas.

Earlier this month in Massachuse­tts, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch called for a review of FAA flight operations and an update on investigat­ions into three recent “troubling” incidents at Boston Logan Internatio­nal Airport.

On March 6, the right wing of a United Airlines plane struck the tail of another United plane, as both were set for departure. A week earlier, a JetBlue plane preparing to land had a “close call” with a Learjet aircraft.

The latter incident occurred a day after a Massachuse­tts man allegedly attacked a flight attendant and tried to open an emergency exit door on a United flight headed to Boston.

The FAA’s safety alert outlines specific steps it wants airlines, pilots and others to take. This includes ensuring pilots and flight attendants have the same understand­ing of what “sterile flight deck” means and the risks associated with extraneous communicat­ion during this time.

The FAA is also emphasizin­g the importance of aircraft awareness in relation to taxiways, runways and other aircraft.

 ?? MATT STONE — BOSTON HERALD ?? Too many close calls has he FAA cracking down on airlines. It was all over runway “incursions.”
MATT STONE — BOSTON HERALD Too many close calls has he FAA cracking down on airlines. It was all over runway “incursions.”

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