Breaking News: Near Miss Collision Averted as Two Planes Maneuver in Washington DC Airspace

The Federal Aviation Administration is currently examining the circumstances surrounding an incident where two jetliners were placed on a potential collision course upon departing Reagan National Airport on Thursday morning. This led air traffic controllers to urgently communicate with each plane to prevent any mishap.

Recordings of air traffic control conversations depict controllers urgently instructing a JetBlue flight to halt its takeoff while a Southwest Airlines flight commenced taxiing across the same runway.

According to FlightRadar24 data, the two planes came to a halt approximately 400 feet apart, with the Southwest flight’s “forward fuselage” reportedly entering the runway.

A controller assigned to manage the runways at Reagan National had cleared the JetBlue Airways flight for takeoff around 7:40 a.m., as indicated by recordings from Concurrently, another controller overseeing taxiing operations directed a Southwest Airlines jet to cross the same runway.

Approximately 30 seconds after clearing the JetBlue plane, controllers urgently instructed both aircraft to stop.

“JetBlue 1554 stop! 1554 stop!” the tower controller exclaimed.

“2937 stop!” the ground controller ordered.

The Southwest pilot responded: “We stopped. We were cleared to cross Runway 4.”

The FAA announced it would conduct an investigation into the incident and admitted in a statement to CNN that both planes were directed onto the runway.

“An air traffic controller instructed Southwest Airlines Flight 2937 to cross Runway 4 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport while JetBlue Flight 1554 was commencing its takeoff roll on the same runway,” the FAA stated.

Following the incident, the JetBlue aircraft returned to the runway threshold and proceeded with takeoff for Boston Logan.

“Do you have room to get around the Southwest or even double back on Runway 4 full length?” the controller inquired.

“Looks like we can make a left on Alpha, JetBlue 1554,” the pilot responded.

The Southwest aircraft was instructed to proceed across that runway and taxi toward a second runway, where it subsequently took off as scheduled, bound for Orlando.

JetBlue mentioned that its Boston-bound flight “aborted take-off due to another aircraft attempting to cross the runway.” The aircraft was inspected and then departed safely, the airline confirmed.

“We are aware of the incident and are collaborating with the FAA to fully comprehend the circumstances,” Southwest Airlines informed CNN.

CNN has reached out to the National Transportation Safety Board to inquire if they intend to investigate the incident.


Source: CNN