‘Another very scary second’: DC-area lawmakers react to a different shut name at Reagan National Airport



On Wednesday morning, an American Airlines flight sure for Boston from Reagan National Airport in Arlington needed to abort its takeoff to keep away from colliding with one other airplane. The incident has a congressional delegation from the D.C. space expressing considerations in regards to the Senate’s vote to extend air site visitors on the airport.

On Wednesday morning, an American Airlines flight sure for Boston from Reagan National Airport in Arlington needed to abort its takeoff to keep away from colliding with one other airplane.

The Federal Aviation Administration mentioned American Airlines Flight 2134’s takeoff was aborted by air site visitors controllers as a result of one other plane had been cleared to land on an intersecting runway. The FAA is investigating the incident.

As WTOP’s information companion 7News reported, it’s estimated the 2 planes got here inside 1,300 ft of one another.

The American flight was taking off on the 7,159-foot Runway 1 and had reached speeds of practically 100 miles per hour, as one other airplane — a smaller, twin-engine King Air — was within the technique of touchdown on the shorter 5,204-foot Runway 33. The two runways intersect about three quarters up Runway 1.

In recordings, air site visitors controllers may be heard urgently directing the American Airlines pilot to cease the takeoff and switch off the primary runway to keep away from crossing paths with the smaller airplane.

“American 2134, cancel takeoff clearance!” an air site visitors controller mentioned. “Zero alpha alpha, go round! Go round!”

“Rejecting the takeoff, 2134,” a pilot replied.

“Zero alpha alpha, we can not go round. We had been already on the bottom,” mentioned the pilot.

“American 2134, do you need to return to the gate?” mentioned the air site visitors controller.

“Yeah, we have to discuss to upkeep, however yeah, I believe we had been above 80 knots, so we’re going to must get an inspection,” mentioned the pilot.

According to information from FlightConscious, the American Airlines flight in the end took off at 2:21 p.m. and landed in Boston at 3:52 p.m., about 4 hours late.

This is the second incident like this to happen in current months. On April 18, a JetBlue and Southwest Airlines airplane had been additionally advised to cease to keep away from a collision on the runway. In that incident, these two planes got here inside 400 ft of a crash, and one aviation security skilled mentioned on the time there was no room for error.

“Could have been a lot worse”

The incident has a congressional delegation from the D.C. space expressing considerations in regards to the Senate’s vote to extend air site visitors on the airport.

“This was one other very scary second,” mentioned U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, of Maryland.

Van Hollen is amongst a congressional delegation made up of lawmakers from D.C., Maryland and Virginia who spoke out towards a FAA reauthorization invoice which might permit add 5 extra landings and takeoffs out of the airport.

Van Hollen mentioned the second close to miss incident is a reminder of why the Senate’s choice so as to add extra slots at Reagan National was “so misguided.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, was one of many predominant backers of the modification, which proponents mentioned would deliver extra direct flights to the D.C. area from different elements of the nation. WTOP reached out to Sen. Cruz’s workplace for touch upon the most recent close to miss.

In a joint assertion, Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner mentioned they’re “deeply relieved nobody was injured” however known as what occurred additional proof that the airport is “severely overburdened and at capability.”

“It exhibits why the Senate’s choice to jam much more flights onto the busiest runway in America as a part of the FAA reauthorization invoice — a transfer we fought towards for months — was so harmful and reckless,” the senators mentioned.

On X, Congressman Don Beyer, of Virginia, mentioned what happened “may have been a lot worse.”

“We warned Congress repeatedly in regards to the security dangers of placing extra site visitors on DCA’s congested runways,” Beyer mentioned.

Van Hollen mentioned a need for added flights within the area might be higher dealt with by including the flights to close by Dulles International Airport and BWI Marshall Airport.

“It makes far more sense to make higher use of these airports moderately than cram an increasing number of flights into National Airport and onto the busiest runway within the nation,” Van Hollen mentioned.

According to Van Hollen, as they await the end result of the FAA’s investigation, he mentioned he’ll work along with his Virginia colleagues to see if there’s a approach they’ll “claw again” on the extra slots at Reagan.

“This (incident) needs to be a warning to those that are urgent to open up much more slots,” Van Hollen mentioned.

WTOP’s Dan Ronan contributed to this story. 

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