WASHINGTON — According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an air traffic controller in Sarasota, Florida, gave clearance for a plane to take off while an American Airlines jet was in the final stage of landing on the same runway last month.

As a result, the American pilots had to abort their landing. The NTSB revealed on Thursday that the American and Air Canada Rouge planes were approximately 3,000 feet (900 meters) apart at their closest point, which is a significant distance compared to recent close calls involving planes.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a preliminary report on the incident that occurred on Feb. 16 but did not disclose the cause. The report indicated that a team had been assembled to scrutinize the actions of the air traffic controller involved in the event.

The investigation involves the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the Federal Aviation Administration, which is responsible for employing and educating controllers, as stated by the NTSB.

The preliminary findings were published one day after a safety summit was held outside Washington, D.C., where officials from the NTSB, the Federal Aviation Administration, airlines, and airline unions discussed safety concerns.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has shared a summary of the closed-door safety summit sessions, indicating that one of the groups discussed air traffic issues and suggested the need for a more thorough analysis of data to identify the root cause of planes on or near the same runway simultaneously. Additionally, the FAA has called upon the aviation industry to come up with technological solutions that can assist air traffic controllers in tracking ground equipment.

The NTSB is currently conducting an inquiry into six recent incidents related to conflicting runway use. A spokesperson for the board revealed that in 2022, there had been no similar investigations carried out, and only two were initiated in 2021.

Although Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data suggests that the number of overall runway incursions, known as such events, has decreased in the last six months compared to the same period the previous year. The majority of these incidents were classified as being low or no risk.