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Safety Concerns Arise as Private Jet and Southwest Flight Narrowly Avoid Collision

A Southwest Airlines flight and a private airplane came within 100 feet of one another on a San Diego runway, and two US authorities are investigating the incident.

According to a preliminary investigation by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), a Cessna corporate jet was given permission to land on the same runway that Southwest Airlines Flight 2493 had been given permission to taxi to and wait for clearance to take off, according to Reuters on Saturday.

Also conducting an investigation is the National Transportation Safety Board. About noon local time on Friday, the event happened at the San Diego International Airport.

The Cessna jet’s pilot aborted the landing after getting a warning from the surface surveillance system, according to the FAA. According to Reuters, who cited an informed source, the Cessna plane missed Southwest’s Boeing 737 by about 100 feet.

Outside of regular business hours, Insider contacted the FAA, the NTSB, and Southwest for comment. None of them responded right away.

Authorities have been alarmed by a string of events this year, which has prompted additional requests for airlines and air traffic controllers to boost vigilance to prevent collisions on or near runways.

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FAA and NTSB Investigate Surge in Close Calls at Airports

safety-concerns-arise-private-jet-and-southwest-flight-narrowly-avoid-collision
A Southwest Airlines flight and a private airplane came within 100 feet of one another on a San Diego runway, and two US authorities are investigating the incident.

The rate of “runway incursions” soared from late 2022 into this year, an FAA representative told Insider in May.

Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated that there has been a “uptick in serious close encounters” at airports during an FAA safety meeting in March.

Uncertain factors, such as an overworked cabin crew or inadequate air traffic control capabilities, may be to blame for this increase.

According to an email obtained by Reuters, the FAA informed its employees a week after Buttigieg’s remarks that it was taking steps to enhance air traffic control operations in an effort to lower near-misses.

The FAA and NTSB are currently looking into six other comparable near-miss occurrences, including the one involving Southwest and the Cessna jet.

When a charter plane’s pilot took off from Boston’s Logan International Airport without permission in February, the two flights almost collided. The pilot reported feeling ill and having a blocked up nose to the NTSB.

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Source: Business Insider

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