The NTSB Chair warns of increased aviation system strain as near-miss incidents increase

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chair Jennifer Homendy has expressed grave concerns about the increasing number of near-miss aviation incidents in the United States, warning that they serve as a "clear warning sign" of the strain on the nation's aviation system.


Homendy, who testified before a Senate Commerce aviation subcommittee on Thursday, emphasized the urgency of addressing these incidents before they lead to a catastrophic accident. "We cannot ignore or avoid the warning signs of strain from all these recent events," she stated. "We cannot wait until a fatal accident forces action. We must act before there is a tragedy."

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The NTSB has opened seven investigations into near-miss incidents since January, including some that were potentially catastrophic. In one incident, an airliner landed on the wrong runway, narrowly avoiding a collision with another aircraft. In another incident, two aircraft came within 100 feet of each other over the Atlantic Ocean. Homendy attributed the rise in near-miss incidents to a combination of factors, including staffing shortages, air traffic control system limitations, and a lack of adequate safety technology. She called for a comprehensive approach to address these issues, including increased funding for the FAA, improved training for air traffic controllers, and implementation of new safety technologies.


The FAA acknowledged the challenges facing the aviation system but expressed confidence in its ability to maintain safety. "We recognize that any number [of runway incursions] is an unacceptable safety risk," said FAA official Tim Arel. "We are taking several steps to address these issues, and we are committed to ensuring the safety of the U.S. aviation system." Air Line Pilots Association President Jason Ambrosi echoed Homendy's concerns, emphasizing the need for immediate action. "It is clear the system is under strain, and we need to aggressively pursue solutions to stop these events," he said. The NTSB's warning serves as a stark reminder of the importance of aviation safety. With the aviation industry expected to continue growing in the coming years, it is crucial to take all necessary steps to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of passengers and crew members.

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