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FAA investigating near plane collision at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

The FAA on Thursday said that it was investigating a near collision between two planes at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
The FAA on Thursday said that it was investigating a near collision between two planes at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

May 30 (UPI) -- The Federal Aviation Administration said it was investigating an avoided collision on the runway at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Wednesday where a takeoff had to be canceled as another plane was landing.

American Airlines flight 2134 was cleared to launch Wednesday morning at the same time another flight had been cleared to land on across-runway, potentially putting it in the path of the leaving flight.

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"An air traffic controller canceled the takeoff clearance for American Airlines Flight 2134 because another aircraft was cleared to land on an intersecting runway," an FAA spokesperson told NBC News Thursday morning.

The FAA said it is investigating how the flight was cleared to take off in the first place, needing the quick thinking of an air traffic controller to avoid a possible collision.

"The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority, and we're grateful to our crew for their professionalism," American Airlines said. "We will support the FAA in its investigation."

The flight, which was scheduled to leave for Boston Logan International Airport, on Wednesday morning, was delayed until the afternoon, some four hours later.

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Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., who represents the district where the airport is located, said the incident was another sign that Reagan National Airport is overbooked and needs flight relief.

"I'm relieved no one was hurt," Kaine said. "But this incident underscores again that DCA is at capacity," Kaine said on X. "This shows why [the] Senate action to jam even more flights into DCA was so dangerous. The FAA must resist any new flights that compromise safety."

A similar incident nearly led to a collision of a JetBlue flight with a Southwest Airlines plane on April 18 at the same airport.

In that incident, air traffic controllers cleared Southwest Airlines Flight 2937 to cross the runway at Reagan National while JetBlue Flight 1554 had been given clearance to takeoff and was starting its roll down the same runway.

The JetBlue fight aborted its takeoff as the planes came within 1,000 feet of each other. officials said. The FAA is still investigating that incident.

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