The FAA plans to make technology that prevents close calls mandatory on all planes

The FAA Looks at the Possibility of Mandating Technology To Prevent Close Calls

Given the recent number of close calls, the Federal Aviation Administration is looking at the possibility of requiring planes to have a technology designed to prevent these situations. According to the FAA, this is part of their strategy to eliminate “serious close calls.”

A lot of new airline jets already use this technology. However, older ones as well as many private planes don’t have this yet. This technology would alert pilots if they are to land on the wrong runway or when the runway is too short.

On Friday, the agency requested a committee of aviation experts for recommendations on how to require such technology. The FAA stated, “One serious close call is one too many, and we must act now and consider everything to get us closer to our goal.”

Currently, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating seven cases of close calls since January.

Necessary Steps to Reduce Close Calls

Based on preliminary reports regarding close calls this year, some cases were related to pilot error while other cases involved air controller mistakes. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “When it comes to that most serious type (of close calls), we have seen a noticeable increase in the first part of this year.” He added, “We are at about 15 so far this year, and typically you would expect that number in about a (whole) calendar year.”

Buttigieg says that the FAA is taking different steps to reduce close calls. Examples he pointed out included the “safety summit” of industry officials in March, as well as investing in airport infrastructure. Those who attended the safety summit highlighted that the lack of fatal crashes since 2009 involving US airlines proves that airline safety improved over the years. However, Buttigieg said that it doesn’t mean that they should be complacent.

Buttigieg said, “When you have a year with zero fatal crashes, you have to concentrate your efforts on keeping it that way by turning to anything that could have led to a problem if it hadn’t been caught.”

David Boulter who is FAA’s associate administrator for safety, said in a letter on Friday that technologies “are only part of the solution.” For Boulter, there should also be an emphasis on “human factors.”

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John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.

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