NTSB: Runway incidents under-reported

Nov. 10, 2004 at 2:15 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. investigators say the near collision of two jets in August at Los Angeles airport is indicative of regulators' failure to track runway incidents.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the Aug. 19 incident in which an Asiana Airlines 747 nearly landed on a Southwest Airlines 737, endangering approximately 300 lives, was not properly reported to investigators at the Federal Aviation Administration, USA Today reported.

"This was a near accident. Over 300 lives were at stake," said NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman Connors. The two jets missed each other by 185 feet.

While the number of runway incidents appears to have fallen from 431 in 2000 to 325 in 2003, that decrease may largely be due to "lack of reporting," according to NTSB investigator Sandy Rowlett

"The charge and the implication is simply unfounded. Our runway safety office was informed of the incident, then proceeded to investigate it," countered FAA spokesman Greg Martin.

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