The Federal Aviation Administration will soon hold a summit to address the safety of air travelers. It is against the backdrop of several near-miss incidents reported in early 2023. According to data gleaned from the FAA, around 613 runway incursions have been reported this year so far, compared to 1,732 incidents in the past year.
In today’s breaking BNN news, Billy Nolen, the acting administrator of the FAA, will conduct a meeting on March 15, 2023. In a memo released last month, Billy said the aviation industry is experiencing the safest period in its history. However, it cannot be taken for granted, and we need to take appropriate actions and precautions to prevent near-miss incidents at US airports in early 2023. Billy went on to say that it is time to glean the data and decide on appropriate actions at the airports to ensure the safety of air passengers.
Near misses on the runways are common
According to experts, near-misses on the runways are common. However, air passengers may not realize those incidents, which could prove fatal. Though each incident on the runways is different, there could be some common underlying causes. After easing fears of the coronavirus pandemic, air traffic worldwide is slowly returning to normal.
Less experienced crews are the main reason for runway incursions at the airports
According to an industry group, the IATA (International Air Transport Association), air traffic in North America rose by 130.2% YoY in the past year. A less experienced crew is engaged in guiding the passengers on several flights. Adding to the vows, several aviation workers have retired since the pandemic. Also, the carriers laid off several of their employees during the pandemic. Now, with growing demand, airlines are scrambling to recruit and train several employees.
Employees working in the air transportation industry rose by 9.44% YoY
According to the data gathered from the FAA, the air transportation industry now employs 522,000 people as of January 2023, an increase of 9.44% YoY. However, some airlines, such as Southwest, reduced training requirements to put more workers on the runways and in the skies. Such less experienced staff may cause near-miss collisions on the runways, risking the safety of passengers.
The CEO and president of the Flight Safety Foundation, Hassan Shahidi, said more pressure is being noticed on the system with less experienced staff manning the operations, a deviation from the pre-pandemic levels. A spokesperson for South West Airlines said the carrier has not lowered any standards for its pilots. Each candidate needs to pass a training program on flight operations before being allowed to operate the flight.
A glimpse into near-miss incidents at US airports in 2023
In the most recent world news, a Delta Airlines plane aborted takeoff at the last minute on January 13, 2023, at New York’s JFK International Airport after a plane from American Airlines passed in front of it. It resulted in issuing subpoenas to the pilots of an American Airlines plane. A Southwest Airlines 737 and a Boeing 767 cargo plane of FedEx nearly collided on February 4, 2023, at Texas’s Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.