The FAA is investigating a runway incursion that led to a near miss between planes in New York

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating Near collision between two planes at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday.

An FAA spokesperson told FOX Business that the potential collision was averted when the Boeing 737 operated by Delta Airlines came to a halt “as it had just begun to take off” after air traffic controllers noticed another plane crossing the runway in front of it. The statement added, “According to a preliminary analysis, Delta Airlines Flight 1943 stopped its takeoff roll approximately 1,000 feet before reaching the point where American Airlines Flight 106, a Boeing 777, crossed an adjacent taxiway.”

The FAA confirmed that its investigation is ongoing and that the information is preliminary and subject to change. The agency did not respond to a question about whether the accident was classified into four FAA categories for runway incursions, which would indicate the severity of the accident.

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Airport runway for takeoff of jet aircraft

Airplane taking off from an airport runway. (iStock/iStock)

Based on the details provided by the agency, the Jan. 13 incident in New York likely falls into one of the higher-risk categories the FAA uses to assess runway intrusions.

What are runway raids?

Runway raids are airport accidents that occur when aircraft, vehicles, or people are improperly located in the protected area designated for aircraft to land and take off. They differ from surface accidents, which involve unauthorized movement or occurrence in a specific area that could affect flight safety.

The FAA’s four categories of runway strikes present varying degrees of danger but do not amount to an actual accident:

  • Class A – the most invasive type – is a severe accident in which collision was narrowly avoided.
  • Class B crashes occur when class decreases and there is a high probability of a collision that could cause a corrective or evasive response at a critical time to avoid the collision.
  • Class C accidents are characterized by ample time and/or distance to avoid a collision.
  • Class D accidents involve the incorrect presence of an aircraft, person, or vehicle in a protected landing and takeoff area that has no immediate safety consequences.

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American Airlines

American Airlines passenger planes prepare for departure near a terminal at Boston’s Logan International Airport in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) (AP Photo)

To help air traffic controllers prevent incursions from Class A and B runways, the FAA has developed the Airport Surface Detection System – Model X (ASDE-X), a surveillance radar that tracks surface movement of aircraft and vehicles at airport facilities that alerts controllers about potential incursions or accidents. other.

As of October 31, 2022, the ASDE-X radar has been deployed at 35 major airports across the country, including New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport where an accident occurred on Friday.

Runway raids can occur due to operational accidents due to the work of the air traffic controller resulting in less than minimum separation between aircraft; pilot deviations such as crossing the runway without authorization; Pedestrians or vehicles entering airport traffic areas without permission from air traffic control.

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Several Delta Airlines planes on the tarmac

Delta Airlines planes are seen at John F. Kennedy International Airport on the Fourth of July in Queens, New York City, US, July 2, 2022. (Reuters/Andrew Kelly/File Photo/Reuters Photo)

the The number of runway raids At US airports it increased from 1,574 in fiscal year 2021 to 1,732 in fiscal year 2022, according to Federal Aviation Administration data. The most common cause of incursions is pilot deviation, which was the cause of 1,084 incursions in fiscal year 2022, followed by vehicular and pedestrian deviations which were the cause of 313 incursions. As of January 11, the FAA has reported 27 runway raids this month.

Collisions between planes can have serious consequences, and such a scenario led to the deadliest accident in aviation history in 1977 on the Spanish island of Tenerife. The congestion at the airport stemmed from the closure of a different airport in the Canary Islands coupled with poor visibility due to heavy fog and led to disaster when miscommunication between air traffic controllers and pilots led to the Boeing 747 taxiing on a runway that was being used by someone else for take off. The collision and the tragic fire killed 583 people and injured all 61 survivors.

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Airlines are responding to a runway accident

The two airlines involved in the aborted takeoff and near New York tell FOX Business that they prioritize the safety of their passengers and crew and are helping federal agencies achieve it.

“The safety of our customers and crew is always Delta’s number one priority. Delta will work with and assist aviation authorities in a full review of Flight 1943 on January 13 in connection with a successfully aborted take-off procedure at New York JFK,” a spokesperson Delta Airlines he told FOX Business. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and delay in their flights.

Spokesman American Airlines She told FOX Business, “The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority. We are conducting a full internal review and are cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board in their investigation.”

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