Travel editor says there’s ways to avoid plane near-collisions


(NewsNation) — The Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing a near-collision between a Boeing 737 and a Cessna Citation business jet at San Diego International Airport.

A preliminary review by the FAA shows that just before noon Pacific Time on Friday, the Cessna jet was told to cut its landing short and circle around because a Southwest plane was still on the runway.

An air traffic controller cleared the private jet to land and then told the Southwest pilots to taxi onto the same runway and wait for approval to take off.

The private jet was able to pull up and circle before landing safely.

The San Diego International Airport’s automated system for tracking planes and vehicles on the ground alerted the controller to this potential conflict, according to the FAA.

More than a half-dozen close calls at airports around the country are being investigated by the FAA and National Transporation Safety Board.

NewsNation travel editor Peter Greenberg says these near-collisions can be attributed to “a combination of reasons that could possibly be avoided.”

One of them, he said, is that airlines have been overscheduling flights.

“That’s why you have so much gridlock at the airports,” Greenberg said.

Runway capacity also plays a part, he added. The biggest component of this problem, though, Greenberg says, is air traffic control scheduling and staffing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Watch the full interview with Peter Greenberg in the video above.

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