Recent mishap spark FAA's concern over increasing near-miss incidents

  • An Allegiant Air plane narrowly avoided a collision with a Gulfstream business jet near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
  • The FAA and NTSB are currently probing multiple incidents this year where aircraft proximity breaches occurred.
  • Following a string of such near-miss incidents, the FAA held a “safety summit” earlier in the year to address and improve aviation safety.

WASHINGTON D.C. — Federal authorities are delving into an incident involving a close brush between an Allegiant Air aircraft and a private Gulfstream jet. The event transpired near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on July 23, according to statements from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Monday.

Near-Miss Mid-Air Collision Leaves Allegiant Flight Attendant Injured

The specifics of the incident reveal that an air traffic controller from Miami directed the Allegiant flight 485, which had just commenced its journey from Fort Lauderdale, to redirect eastward at an altitude of 23,000 feet. During this redirection, the Allegiant plane nearly collided with the northward-bound Gulfstream jet. Post this hair-raising event, the Allegiant aircraft promptly made its way back to the Fort Lauderdale airport. A subsequent report highlighted that a member of the flight crew needed medical attention due to injuries sustained during the incident.

This alarming occurrence is not an isolated event. Throughout the year, the FAA, in tandem with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), has been probing into roughly six incidents where aircraft proximity safety norms were compromised. In several instances, at least one of the aircraft involved remained grounded.

One of the most harrowing of these took place in February. In this incident, a FedEx cargo plane on its landing approach narrowly missed a Southwest Airlines aircraft that had just received takeoff clearance from the same runway. The NTSB’s chief disclosed that the two aircraft were perilously close, with a mere 100-foot gap separating them.

Given the unsettling frequency of such near misses, a “safety summit” was organized by the FAA in March. The then-acting administrator, who has since parted ways with the FAA, both defended the U.S. aviation safety record and stressed the importance of heightened safety awareness. The official emphasized the necessity for a more comprehensive data collection regarding these incidents and implored all stakeholders in aviation to prioritize and adhere to safety protocols.