Close call at airport near Los Angeles under investigation

Aviation security officials said they are investigating a close call between two regional jets at an airport near Los Angeles this week, the latest in a series of similar incidents in recent weeks.

Air Group Mesa Inc.

Pilots pulled a landing Wednesday night at Hollywood Burbank Airport in Burbank, California, after an air traffic controller cleared another plane to leave before it did, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Mesa’s Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft was approximately 1.3 miles from the runway when a controller cleared SkyWest inc.

Embraer E175 jet to take off from the same runway, the FAA said.

A Mesa pilot canceled the landing and began to climb, the FAA said, citing preliminary information. The SkyWest plane continued to depart from him, prompting an automatic alert in the Mesa’s cockpit. The controller directed the Mesa crew to steer a course away from the other aircraft.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board said they are investigating the incident.

A SkyWest spokeswoman said the flight, which operates as United Express from Burbank to San Francisco, slowed its climb in compliance with an automated alert, after being cleared for takeoff. The flight continued without incident, she said, adding that the airline is working to support the investigations and will conduct an internal investigation to understand what happened.

Mesa did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Aviation security investigators are examining other close calls this year. While accidents have been avoided, such incidents have raised concerns among regulators and lawmakers. The FAA has called aviation industry officials to a summit next month to discuss the situation.

Billy Nolen, the FAA’s acting administrator, said he’s asked the agency’s commercial aviation security team to mine data and see if there are any additional incidents similar to those that have cropped up in recent weeks, or evidence of emerging trends. .

In January, a Delta Air Lines Inc.

The plane was heading to a runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York for takeoff when air traffic controllers noticed an American Airlines Group Inc.

jet crossing his path, authorities said. The Delta pilots aborted takeoff and the plane ground to a halt.

Earlier this month at the Austin, Texas airport, a FedEx corporation

The plane was about to land when it appeared to be within 100 feet of a Southwest Airlines plane. Co.

jet taking off from that same runway.

The companies involved in those situations have said they are cooperating with aviation safety investigators.

Email Alison Sider at aliso[email protected] and Micah Maidenberg at [email protected]

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