FAA launches investigation into air traffic control error after near-mid-air collision between two commercial planes

"Wait, who's cleared to take off on 28?"


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched an investigation into an air traffic control error that resulted in a close-call incident involving two commercial airlines nearly colliding mid-air. The incident occurred around 11:50 am on Monday. The incident was captured by dash camera footage from police in Syracuse, New York.

An apparent air traffic control error caused the two planes to navigate past each other, with one plane being cleared to depart from Syracuse Hancock International Airport at the same time another was cleared to land on the same runway. Experts have noted that while the flights were not on a direct collision course, preliminary evidence indicates they were flying in dangerously close proximity, with a separation of only about 725 feet, according to CBS News.

Air Traffic Control's communication with the pilots showed that the controller gave a Bombardier CRJ-700 jet operated by PSA Airlines, which is a regional branch of American Airlines, a green light to land on runway 28. Subsequently, the controller gave a CRJ-700 operated by Endeavor Air, a regional branch of Delta, a green light to depart from the same runway.

A pilot that was on the American Airlines flight is heard on Air Traffic Control audio asking, "Wait, who's cleared to take off on 28?"

The Delta and American Airlines planes were carrying 76 and 75 passengers respectively. Although no one was hurt in the incident, the error has raised significant concerns regarding air traffic control protocols. Delta responded to the incident by saying it would work with the FAA to investigate the error that occurred. "Endeavor Air and Delta will work with aviation authorities as we always do in our shared commitment to safety above all else,” Delta said in a statement to CBS News.

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