FAA Records 19 Close Calls at U.S Airports

The Wall Street Journal reviewed data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), finding that U.S. airports saw 19 close calls and near misses.

The number is the highest since 2016.

Some speculate that the close calls are due to staffing issues and lack of experience.

According to Ed Sicher, president of American Airlines’ pilot union, “Every piece of the system is under stress.”

In many cases of near misses, planes enter an area set for a different aircraft, forcing another to quickly move elsewhere to avoid a collision or accident.

U.S. Senators addressed the increasing number of close calls when flying in a Subcommittee hearing for Aviation Safety, Operations, and Innovation.

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said at the time, “[W]e have cited staffing shortages, which lead to scheduling issues, fatigue, lack of or deficient supervisory oversight, distraction, ineffective scanning, and the need for value-added training.”

“That is why we need the additional FAA Air Traffic Controllers that are in the FAA bill of over 3,000 people,” she added. “We cannot have people working 6 days a week. We need people who have the ample amount of rest and capability to deal with, as my colleague Senator Duckworth said, probably one of the most stressful and challenging jobs there is.”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has called the near misses “almost mass fatality crashes.”