Two Aircraft Narrowly Avoid Collision on Runway at Texas Airport

Two aircraft, a FedEx cargo carrier and a Southwest Airlines airplane, were cleared to use a runway at the same time at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, forcing the FedEx plane to change course.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) initial assessment was that an air traffic controller had cleared the Southwest aircraft to use the runway just before the FedEx plane was scheduled to arrive, KVUN reported

FedEx cargo plane. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

“The pilot of the FedEx airplane discontinued the landing and initiated a climb out,” the FAA said in a statement via the Associated Press (AP).

KXAN noted the incident occurred at about 6:40 a.m. Saturday morning. 

A FedEx spokesperson confirmed in an email to the AP that the plane had “encountered an event just before landing.”

Citing FlightAware arrival and departure data, the Austin American-Statesman noted the FedEx aircraft “circled the airport and eventually landed in Austin at 6:51 a.m.”

FlightAware data shows the Southwest flight arrived at its destination, Cancun, Mexico, at 9:47 a.m.

The incident is under investigation by the FAA, per KXAN.

Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced in a tweet that it was investigating “a possible runway incursion and overflight” at the airport “involving airplanes from Southwest Airlines and FedEx.” 

An even closer call occurred last month at JFK International Airport in New York, where a JetBlue plane about to depart for Puerto Rico “clipped another aircraft.” Fortunately, the other plane was empty, and no injuries were reported. However, as Breitbart News noted, that incident also triggered investigations by the FAA and NTSB.

You can follow Michael Foster on Twitter at @realmfoster.

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