NTSB chair says US near-miss aviation incidents 'clear warning sign'

Nov. 10, 2023
The hearing comes as Congress, airlines and regulators grapple with an increase in serious aviation close calls and look for ways to reduce them, David Shepardson reports for Reuters.

WASHINGTON - An increase in serious near-miss aviation incidents is a "clear warning sign that the U.S. aviation system is sharply strained," National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chair Jennifer Homendy will tell a U.S. Senate panel on Thursday, David Shepardson reports for Reuters.

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The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

10 November 2023 -"In the wake of the pandemic, we’re experiencing a massive resurgence of air traffic. We’re also seeing staffing shortages; fatigue; distraction; deviations from Federal Aviation Regulations; and a lack of meaningful, value added training as the FAA and industry rely more and more on computer-based training and the issuance of bulletins as substitutes for hands-on training," Homendy testified. "We’re also seeing a lack of redundancy around technology to prevent runway incursions and wrong surface landings. Redundancy is the foundation of our stellar safety record, but the aviation workforce is without a technological safety net.

"Meanwhile, our airspace—already the most complex in the world—is about to become even more congested as drones, advanced air mobility, and commercial space launches and reentries increase," Homendy continued. "New fuels are on the horizon, including zeroemission and hydrogen aircraft, as well, and more and more lithium-ion batteries are being transported on cargo planes."

Related: Airline close calls happen far more often than previously known

Related: FAA issues industrywide call to action following runway close calls

Related: NTSB head says aircraft 'close calls' are on the rise and airlines are 'stressed'

Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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