Air Traffic Control
October 14, 2011 by staff
Air Traffic Control, The errors of air traffic controllers in the vicinity of airports, as well as incidents in which there was an unauthorized aircraft, vehicle or person on a track have increased considerably, a government watchdog said in a report released Thursday.
The errors of the drivers who work in facilities that handle radar approaches and departures within 30 miles of an airport that planes fly too close together causing nearly doubled in three years ending in March, the report of the Government Accountability Office said.
Moreover, runway incursions at airports with control towers rose from 11 cases per million takeoffs and landings in the 2004 federal fiscal year 18 cases per million takeoffs and landings in the 2010 federal budget year. Most large and medium airports have control towers. As a “runway incursions” as they are called, can involve anything that is not supposed to be on a track, a cart of luggage lost on a plane that makes a wrong turn while filming.
The worst accident in aviation history occurred on March 27, 1977, on an airstrip on the Spanish island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands when two Boeing 747s crashed, killing 583 people.
The Federal Aviation Administration attributed the increase in controller errors better error reporting. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has also previously said the agency is using a new tracking system in the aircraft approach control facilities better able to detect planes too close together. But the report said that technologies to improve the automated reporting of incidents have not been fully implemented
In addition to the automated system, the FAA has also adopted an error reporting policy that encourages new drivers to disclose their errors do not punish mistakes.
“As a result of this change of culture, the FAA expects to see an increase in reports of operational errors. More information helps us identify problems and take action before an accident occurs, which will help us build a system aviation safer, “the agency said in a statement.
The GAO report acknowledges that changes in policies and procedures for reporting to the FAA may be partly responsible for the increases.
“However, trends indicate an increase in the actual incidence of incidents,” the report said.
The FAA statement does not include the increase in runway incursions. The FAA has had a program to reduce runway incursions at least since 2007, and officials have reported significant success.
The GAO report says that while FAA officials have met their targets for reducing runway incursions general, the rate of incidents at airports with towers has increased.
“The increase in security incidents raises significant concerns track,” said House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla. He said his committee hosted a meeting with FAA officials and others on the subject.
Paul Rinaldi, is president of the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers, GAO noted that FAA is also credited with the adoption of measures to improve runway safety.
“We take this report seriously,” Rinaldi said in a statement. “We are working every day to ensure the safety of Americans in heaven. This includes the implementation of technological and procedural changes to improve safety on the slopes, collecting more data on security incidents, to find ways to share security information used up to the level of local facilities and the shift towards risk-based air andanlysis of information from the surface of Aviation Safety. “
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