Sat, Jun 25, 2005
Feds Investigate Under-Reporting Of Near-Misses At DFW, Other
Are air traffic controllers
routinely covering up near-misses and other errors in the tower? An
investigation by the Office of Special Council says yes -- and
indicates the problem has existed for at least seven years.
"It was to the point that I was fearful that two airplanes would
collide," DFW ATC whistleblower Anne Whiteman told the Dallas
Morning News. "I can say that without hesitation."
And she can apparently prove it. Special Counsel Scott Bloch
told the Morning News there is documentation that supervisors
failed to investigate some issues. In others, where TRACON
supervisors did investigate, they failed to notify FAA Headquarters
as required by policy.
In 2004, DFW TRACON reported two operational errors in the first
half of the year. But the Special Counsel's investigation turned up
36 errors in the last half of 2004 -- 28 of them deemed "moderate"
"We take these charges very seriously," FAA spokesman Greg
Martin told the Dallas paper. "As we became aware of them, we took
immediate and thorough action."
Dallas Not Alone
There have been disturbingly similar allegations in recent days
from Boston and Los Angeles. The LA Times reported Friday there
have been four near-misses in just the last month.
The Boston Globe has also reported the NTSB is investigating a
near-collision on the runway at Logan International, where two
aircraft at different intersections were cleared for take-off at
the same time.
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