2 Aircraft Avoid Collision Following Potential Air Traffic Control Error At Austin Airport

The Federal Aviation Administration said that a FedEx cargo plane that was making an attempt to land at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Saturday morning had to change its path after another plane was given permission to take off from the same runway.

At around 6:40 a.m. local time, the FAA authorized the Boeing 767 freight airliner to land even though it was a distance away from the airport. However, a Southwest Airlines plane was given permission to take off by an air traffic controller moments before it was scheduled to land.

The FedEx pilot “discontinued the landing and commenced a climb out,” according to a statement from the FAA.

At 6:40 a.m., the FedEx plane had plummeted to an elevation of about 150 feet before it was forced to ascend once more, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware. According to FlightAware, the plane touched down at the airport around 11 minutes later, at 6:51 a.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted on Saturday that there may have been a “possible runway incursion and overflight involving airplanes from FedEx and Southwest Airlines.”

According to the FAA, the Southwest flight was able to take off without incident.

The incident is being looked into, according to the NTSB and FAA.

FedEx Express Flight 1432 from Memphis, Tennessee to Austin, Texas successfully landed despite running into an incident just before landing at Austin Bergstrom International Airport this morning, according to Shannon Davis, a FedEx representative.

Davis and Southwest Airlines both forwarded additional inquiries to the FAA and NTSB.

The Austin-Bergstrom International said in a statement to the Associated Press that it was “aware that a flight’s abandoned landing is the subject of an inquiry by the Federal Aviation Administration. As required, we will support the FAA’s partners in their inquiry.”

At John F. Kennedy International Airport last month, a Boeing 737 from Delta Airlines narrowly avoided colliding with an American Airlines plane that had just crossed the runway. According to the FAA statement, the Delta aircraft came to a stop around 1,000 feet away from the American Airlines aircraft’s point of crossing from a nearby taxiway.

Southeast of Austin by 5 miles is Austin-Bergstrom.

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