There were at least 19 separate cases of planes almost crashing into each other in the first 10 months of the year, according to a shock report.
The staggering number of near-misses between January and October represents a significant increase in narrowly avoided aviation accidents — the largest since 2016, according to Federal Aviation Administration data. Reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
This year's total number is not yet known, but is expected to continue to rise.
Just weeks after the data was collected, a landing plane nearly collided with a departing plane in stormy skies above Portland International Airport, just 2,000 feet apart from each other.
Fortunately, frantic calls from an air traffic controller prompted the descending plane to abort its landing in time, saving the lives of hundreds of passengers.
Such close calls are becoming increasingly more frequent, as officials argue that near-misses could be traced back to staffing issues at air traffic control towers.
Just days before the startling Wall Street Journal report, the Federal Aviation Administration announced it would form a panel of experts — led by a former safety board official and a sleep expert — to address air traffic controller fatigue after a series of near-misses.
The three-member committee will begin work in January and “examine how the latest science on sleep needs and fatigue considerations can be applied to control work demands and schedule.”
The FAA has met its annual goal of hiring 1,500 controllers for 2023, but is still about 3,000 controllers behind hiring goals — leaving most workers facing six-day work weeks.
The Empire State faces some of the most severe staffing shortages for air traffic controllers, with New York's radar approach control staffing at just 54% of recommended staffing.
The Big Apple began 2023 with a near-catastrophic collision that was averted thanks to urgent calls from an air traffic controller.
Panicked passengers screamed in horror as their Delta flight came “just seconds” away from colliding with an American Airlines plane crossing their runway.
Despite traveling at 115 mph, Delta hit the brakes, stopping just 1,000 feet from the intruding plane.
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