FAA Set to Plumb Mid-Air Incidents

August 25, 2010 at 7:24 am | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: Wall Street Journal

Responding to a spate of midair near-collisions in recent months, the Federal Aviation Administration wants to bring pilots and air-traffic controllers together to voluntarily share information after such events.

The goal of the initiative is to obtain a more complete picture of what led up to such dangerous incidents and how to prevent them. UAL Corp.’s United Airlines is likely to be the initial participating carrier.

The model program is intended to “more accurately identify potential hazards and develop more robust mitigation strategies” without seeking to punish either controllers or pilots, according to agency documents.

“Merging the perspectives” of both groups and jointly analyzing data about mistakes, according to the FAA, may help “enhance the understanding” of the incidents.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which recently began collecting its own data from pilots about airborne near-collisions across the U.S., has received roughly 400 reports over the past few months of cockpit-warning systems activating because planes may have flown too close to each other…more

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