FAA to Hold Runway Safety Meetings Following Close-Call Incidents

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be conducting runway safety meetings at 90 airports in the coming weeks as a response to a series of concerning aviation incidents. This initiative comes after a near collision between a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 and a Cessna Citation 560X business jet in San Diego, which is currently under investigation by both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB is also investigating seven other runway incursion events that have occurred since January.

In an effort to improve air traffic control operations and address the increasing number of close-calls, the FAA will be hosting “Runway Safety Action Team” meetings until the end of September. These meetings will involve representatives from the FAA’s air traffic organization, airlines, pilots, airport vehicle drivers, and other stakeholders. The goal is to identify specific risks to surface safety at each airport and develop plans to mitigate or eliminate those risks.

It is worth noting that the FAA has been without a permanent administrator since April 2022. The withdrawal of President Joe Biden’s nominee, Phil Washington, in March, has left the White House to select a new nominee. In the meantime, Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg has been serving as the acting FAA administrator.

The recent incidents, such as the one in San Diego, have highlighted the need for continued vigilance and attention to safety risks. In response, the FAA held a safety summit earlier this year and issued a safety alert to airlines, pilots, and other stakeholders, emphasizing the importance of mitigation efforts. It is hoped that these upcoming meetings will lead to effective strategies for enhancing runway safety and preventing future close-calls.

Source: Reuters [No URL provided]