FAA Issues Call for Heightened Safety

Airport | Image by EQRoy

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, Fort Worth-based American Airlines, and other carriers will be on heightened alert after a series of near-misses involving aircraft since the start of 2023.

The FAA on Wednesday issued an alert to airlines, pilots, and airports for an  “aviation safety call to action.” 

“Operators should evaluate information collected through their safety management processes, identify hazards, increase and improve safety communications with employees and enact mitigations,” the FAA said in its alert.

The action comes after a safety summit last week in Washington. The FAA warned of catastrophic consequences without action.

“In recent months, a number of notable and high visibility events have occurred in the National Airspace System. While the overall numbers do not reflect an increase in incidents and occurrences, the potential severity of these events is concerning,” the alert said.

One of the incidents was at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

“Six serious runway incursions have occurred since January 2023, including an incident at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City involving a taxing aircraft narrowly avoiding a departing aircraft and a landing aircraft coming within 100 feet of a departing aircraft [In Austin].”

Acting FAA administrator Billy Nolen said if airlines and airports are comfortable, “it probably means you’re missing something.”

“There’s no question that aviation is amazingly safe, but vigilance can never take a day off,” Nolen said, according to an FAA transcript of his speech at the safety summit.

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