FAA To Revise NMAC Investigations

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The FAA is planning to bring pilots and air traffic controllers together to share information after near midair collisions to help develop better strategies for prevention, according to a report in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal. United Airlines is expected to be the first airline to participate in the project. Currently, pilot and controller reports are analyzed independently. The FAA will also consider possible changes in training for air-traffic controllers and will explore new ways to encourage controllers and their supervisors to report mistakes voluntarily and avoid punishment, according to the Journal. A series of recent close encounters prompted an FAA review of the current procedures.

Two incidents in May at Houston's Hobby Airport both involved Southwest 737s, one in conflict with a news helicopter and the other involving a single-engine Cessna; a United A319 on approach to Washington's Reagan National Airport in June narrowly avoided hitting a Gulfstream business jet; and a Southwest 737 on approach to Burbank, Calif., in April reportedly came within 200 feet of a Cessna 172 practicing touch-and-goes.