Boutique ‘concerned’ about rise in airline close calls

The summit brings together different parts of the aviation industry, including airlines, airports and related unions, along with safety regulators, to try to identify and address red flags that may be hidden in the data each airline is required to report.

Jennifer Homandy, head of the National Transportation Safety Board, which has been investigating all of the recent misses, said each is complicated by the lack of cockpit voice recordings. Typically, these devices are recorded on a two-hour cycle.

“This year’s six all have one thing in common: the cockpit voice recorders were all overwritten,” Homandy said. She also mentioned The company has recommended since 2018 The planes will be equipped with a cockpit voice recorder capable of storing at least 25 hours worth of audio — something European regulators have been in practice for more than a year, he said.

Homandy said the Austin incident and a second incident in Burbank, Calif., were particularly dangerous cases of planes coming dangerously close to each other. In Burbank, a Mesa Airlines flight was forced to go around a SkyWest flight as it took off, Homandy said, when the two planes came within 300 feet of each other.

“Too often we’ve seen the federal government and industry act after an incident, after lives have been lost, and the headlines have been made,” Homandy said. “Our entire mission at NTSB is to prevent the next accident.”

After the roundtable, Homendi told reporters he was frustrated that the FAA had not implemented some of the recommendations his agency had opened — in some cases — calling a safety summit to seek answers about what’s wrong with aviation. system.

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“We’ve given you a road map on how to improve security,” Homandy said, adding that unimplemented recommendations were “the most frustrating thing for us.” This includes an open recommendation on cockpit voice recorders.

In response, the FAA observed that airlines are free to upgrade their cockpit voice recorders if they wish. The FAA also said the NTSB rated the FAA’s responses to some of the safety recommendations it name-checked Homendi as an “open-ended-acceptable response” on Wednesday.

A POLITICO review Federal Aviation Administration data The first two months of 2023 show an increase in collisions involving commercial aircraft across the country. In January and February, business jets experienced a higher rate of close calls than in the previous five years.

Homandy said the NTSB is investigating six close calls on runways across the country since the beginning of the year. Additionally, the NTSB is investigating two wrong-way landings last year and two separate severe turbulence incidents on the same day in Hawaii last December. 36 people were injured Another plane came in 800 feet will hit the Pacific Ocean Shortly after departure.

Although all of those incidents are under NTSB investigation, Homandy said higher revenue in the airline industry after the pandemic, increasingly congested airspace and the failure to adopt seven NTSB recommendations regarding airport runways are contributing to the complex pattern of near-miss collisions. This contributed to demand for Wednesday’s summit.

“Today is not an academic exercise,” Nolan said. “We need to take these six guys and treat them like they happened, and that’s why we’re here today.”

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