FedEx plane, Southwest Airlines flight nearly collide at Austin airport; FAA investigating
Federal officials are investigating a near-collision at a Texas airport when a FedEx cargo plane had to discontinue its landing on the same runway a Southwest Airlines plane was scheduled to depart.
The incident occurred at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Saturday morning after an air traffic controller cleared a Boeing 737 operated by Southwest Airlines to depart, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. However, a Boeing 767 cargo plane operated by FedEx was also cleared to land when it was "several miles from the airport."
"Shortly before the FedEx aircraft was due to land, the controller cleared Southwest Flight 708 to depart from the same runway," said the FAA. "The pilot of the FedEx airplane discontinued the landing and initiated a climb out."
The National Transportation Safety Board called the incident in a tweet a "possible runway incursion and overflight."
Flight data from Flightradar24 shows the two planes coming close on the runway.
The NTSB is investigating an incident involving a Southwest 737 and FedEx 767 that occurred today in Austin. Initial ADS-B data show the landing 767 overflying the departing 737. We are processing granular data now. https://t.co/twHCydm5ixhttps://t.co/wZ3Z0xKJem pic.twitter.com/nkKVjshXmf
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) February 5, 2023
The FAA and NTSB said they are investigating the incident.
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FedEx said in a statement to USA TODAY that its cargo plane arriving from Memphis landed safely at the airport "after encountering an event." The Southwest Airlines flight left Austin 15 minutes after its scheduled departure but arrived to its destination in Cancun, Mexico early, according to FlightAware data.
Southwest Airlines and FedEx referred questions to federal officials.
The close call comes after a similar incident occurred at John F. Kennedy International Airport in January. A preliminary investigation from the FAA found a Delta Air Lines had stop its takeoff roll after an American Airlines flight had crossed the runway from an adjacent taxiway. Days after the near-collision, a JetBlue plane struck the tail of a parked aircraft at the same airport.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: FedEx, Southwest planes nearly collide at Austin airport, FAA says