The FAA has issued an alert advising airlines and pilots of steps they should take to maintain safe operations. 

The agency put out the safety alert following a series of highly publicized runway incursions over the past couple of months and on the heels of a safety summit held by the FAA on March 15. 

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

Six serious runway incursions have occurred since January, the alert says. Among them is a near collision at New York JFK on Jan. 13, when an American Airlines plane crossed a runway, reportedly without clearance, forcing a Delta aircraft to abort takeoff.

Another example cited by the FAA took place at Austin’s airport on Feb. 5, when a FedEx cargo plane aborted landing after coming within 100 feet of a departing Southwest aircraft. The planes had respectively been cleared for landing and departure on the same runway. 

According to FAA data, there were 615 runway incursions at U.S. airports between October of last year and the end of February, compared to 642 incursions during the same five-month period the previous years. 

  • Related: United plane recovers from dive after Maui takeoff

The FAA is urging airlines and pilots to emphasize the importance of awareness of aircraft in relation to taxiways, runways and other aircraft. The agency has also cautioned airlines to make sure pilots and flight attendants understand the risks associated with extraneous communication during takeoff and landing.

In addition, the FAA has asked airlines to encourage personnel to use voluntary reporting systems to identify emerging safety issues. Airlines should also reinforce adherence to processes and procedures, including checklists and air traffic control instructions.

Source: Read Full Article