Near Misses Prompt NTSB Recommendations

A series of near misses investigated by the NTSB has prompted the agency’s chairman Deborah Hersman to send a safety recommendation letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta urging the FAA to revise air traffic control procedures. The letter addresses separation standards provided by ATC at airports with multiple runways, where operations allow for simultaneous takeoffs and landings on runways with intersecting flight paths.

The letter references five incidents, three of which occurred at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, in which airplanes came within close proximity as a result of one of the airplanes executing a go-around while the other airplane was departing. In each case, the airplanes were controlled by two separate tower controllers operating on different frequencies, and the instructions provided would not have prevented a collision. “Instead, separation was established by resorting to impromptu evasive maneuvers by pilots during critical phases of flight,” the letter stated.

While none of the incidents resulted in an accident, the airplanes came very close. In one case, an Airbus A319 and a Cessna Citation Mustang came within 0.21 nm laterally and 100 feet vertically. In order to prevent these types of situations in the future, the NTSB recommends updates to FAA Order 7110.65, “Air Traffic Control,” to provide the same separation to airplanes going around as those taking off from and landing at airports with intersecting flight paths, as described in paragraph 3-9-8 of the order.

We welcome your comments on In order to maintain a respectful environment, we ask that all comments be on-topic, respectful and spam-free. All comments made here are public and may be republished by Flying.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter