Inquiry into aircraft that veered close to each other
WashingtonUS officials say they are inquiring into “miscommunication” this week that led three US Airways aircraft – two outbound and one inbound – to veer unacceptably close to each other over Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration said that bad weather south of the US capital on Tuesday forced controllers to divert aircraft to a different runway. “During the switchover of operations, miscommunication . . . led to a loss of the required separation between two regional jets departing from Runway 1 and a regional jet inbound for Runway 19.”
The National Transportation Safety Board, which has made reducing air traffic controller errors and improving runway safety a top priority, said it would investigate.
US Airways said the three flights arrived safely.
“This error . . . is the worst kind of air traffic control error that you can have, directing one plane into the path of another or in this case two airplanes,” said David Stempler, head of the advocacy group Air Travelers Association. “This must be investigated thoroughly and the air traffic controllers severely disciplined or terminated.”