The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has investigated an incident earlier this year that shows an inexperienced air traffic controller put two jets on a near collision course at Honolulu International Airport.
Documents from an FAA incident report show on January 14th a Japan Airlines flight from Tokyo and a United Parcel Service jet flying from Louisville, Kentucky came within 300 feet vertically and less than 2 miles horizontally before controllers had them change course to avoid a potential collision.
The report says the worker didn’t believe he was ready to direct air traffic without more training but was pressed in to service anyway.
‘He [the controller] was directing eight planes at the time — an average load — and became concerned about a conflict between two other airliners. After taking one minute to resolve this situation, he saw the JAL and UPS planes were on course to collide.’
The FAA learned about the incident and has acted:
“The FAA is committed to ensuring the safety of our nation’s airspace for the traveling public, and we take seriously and investigate all reported infractions,” the agency said in a statement.
The controller was taken off duty and has been put back in to a training program.
Image: Flickr [bribri]