The FAA is investigating a runway incursion at Washington-Reagan Airport on Thursday in which two airliners were stopped by controllers about 300 feet apart. According to ATC recordings, the Southwest 737 and JetBlue A320 were both following ATC instructions when they came close to meeting at the intersection of a taxiway and runway. The FAA confirmed the Southwest flight had been cleared to cross the runway while the JetBlue flight was “starting its takeoff roll on the same runway.” The Southwest plane was already 65 feet past the hold line on the taxiway.

After both aircraft came to a stop under the shouted instructions from the tower, they were given further taxi instructions and both took off normally a few minutes later. Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both from Virginia, quickly made political hay of the mishap. Legislators are split on whether to allow more slots at DCA, some alleging that it’s to allow more direct flights for Congress members to get home. “DCA’s overburdened runway is already the busiest in the country and we fear that adding more flights could put passenger safety at serious jeopardy,” the senators said in a joint statement.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. Scary stuff when Ground and Tower are not coordinated.
    Glad they figured it out before someone got hurt!

  2. Political hay in Washington. Russ, are you so bored with your Canadian utopia that you find the need to comment on affairs south of your border or do you simply have an ax to grind down here? Or both? Have you ever considered working for a widely read Canadian aviation publication (or is there such a thing) and sticking to Canadian affairs? Pass me the BS inhibitor please.

    • Avweb is read by folks all over the globe and mainly in North America as seen by commentators. I think Russ does what he is supposed to do and us folks here in Upper U.S. appreciate all the aviation news we can get. John, you are welcome to visit our utopia anytime you care to as your greenback stretches a lot further than our Loonie (hell of a name for a currency don’t you think?
      P.S. quite a few folks drop the “r” in “upper”

      • Thanks for the invitation Tom. I’ve already accepted it in spades. Sydney, Stephenville, Gander, St Johns, Moncton Center – all these aviation waypoints for those of us who have flown the North Atlantic compelled me to pull our travel trailer all the way from Kansas to visit Newfoundland after retirement which is exactly what I did. Loved it and yes Newfoundland felt like a utopia, but then we were tourists, not residents having to deal with daily life.

    • I am appalled to read such an out of place comment on a free-to-read website that is merely reporting on a current issue and was devoid of any political overtones. Wow.

        • Explaining that the politicians who said something about the issue are from a particular party is not a political overtone, it’s merely a fact.

          This is not the Knights of Ni scene. You do not have to start howling in melodramatic agony just because you see the word “Democratic.”

      • Russ is a great editor and reporter. From my perspective, the problem with his reporting in this instance is not that he identified the political party of the 2 Senators. That’s simply fact. The problem is that he characterized their statement as an effort to make political hay out of the incident, thereby invalidating any concern they expressed. Let the reader reach their own conclusions about the Senators’ motivations. Nothing would be lost by deleting “made political hay of the mishap.”

        • Sorry Bob. I disagree. If they’d based their reaction on staff shortages or crew rest issues, maybe, but they used it to highlight the heated argument that just about sunk the last reauthorization and that was adding more slots to DCA. Obvious political hay.

      • I agree with Joe Jetstar. Russ gave us straight-up reporting.
        I’ve been a reporter for five daily newspapers (including EAA Airventure!), so I have seen these issues for decades. It isn’t politicizing to state the obvious, that the senators made “an effort to make political hay out of the incident.”
        Whether the “political hay” was a much-needed nudge to the bureaucracy or unhelpful meddling is a separate discussion (in which I am not qualified to participate, since I’m not an air traffic controller).

        • With sincere respect, “make political hay” is defined as take advantage of something for one’s own political gain. Whether the Senators were doing that or raising a legitimate safety issue is a matter of opinion about their motivations. Again, nothing at all would be lost by deleting the phrase.

        • Thanks, John. That was so obviously political hay. You never know where it’s going to come from these days….

    • One of the problems with people and politics is that many people cannot control their emotions. This imprudent comment is a great example of that phenomenon.

    • Grandstanding by politicians has a way of insinuating itself into the “DO something!” part of a federal agency’s response, and we get what we get, whether it turns out long term to be good or bad. Meanwhile the politicians have moved on, unaffected, to their next target of opportunity. So including in the article the immediate fallout is appropriate.

      • In this case, the politicians in question are trying to stop something from being done. The movement to increase traffic at DCA is pretty absurd. That’s already a busy airport that doesn’t have a ton of room, and we want to throw more airplanes at it? This incident is, in fact, a good indication that DCA probably can’t safely handle increased traffic.

    • I used to own a highly read Canadian aviation publication and I don’t know what you’re talking about, John. As for the political hay thing, that would have been political hay in Ottawa if adding more slots was the hot topic it is in Washington.

  3. DCA is categorized as an FAA Level 9 facility, which identidies it as a high air traffic volume and significant operational complexity and, I would surmise, controllers at such facilities are experienced. In light of the recent runway incursion at Reagan National, it’s proper to approach discussions with clarity and fairness.

    While DEI initiatives aim to foster workplace diversity and equality, it is misleading to link these policies directly to specific operational incidents without substantive evidence. Before jumping to conclusions, in other words, running your mouths, I strongly suggest waiting for the FAA’s investigation to be completed.

    • Excellent comment! Agree.

      I remember with great fondness the River Visual Approach to 19. Fun. And the “hiyackas” maneuver (industry term) taking off on Rwy 1. All this to say if this airport were located anywhere else––Kansas City for example (Remember Downtown Airport?)––it would have been closed for safety reasons years ago. Try that now and watch a bunch of congressional heads explode.

      • The only reason DCA s still used is because Congress persons and Senators are too lazy to go to IAD for their flights home. The secret service has wanted to close DCA for years and would do so now if Congress would allow!

        • There’s actually a market for it outside of what you claim. I fly there all the time to see my family in Alexandria. Pretty sure the vast majority of flights are not seating those pesky Congressmen and Senators.

          • While true, Dulles and Logan can easily handle all the traffic currently at DCA. Especially with the Silver Line extension finally reaching IAD, that’s my preferred airport to get in and out of the city (not the smallest reason being it’s a great excuse to visit Udvar Hazy).

            There really isn’t an operational need for DCA to remain open beyond being a very convenient spot for congresscritters to fly home from. It’s true that as long as it remains open, people will use it, but it’s kind of like having two Starbucks within a block of each other. People will use both, but there’s probably only a real need for one of them.

          • DCA ranked 23 in passengers in 2022 where IAD ranked 28. IAD has the infrastructure to handle that much overage? That comment would be the same as saying HOU traffic and passengers could be absorbed by IAH. No way possible. And did you mean BWI? Logan is far way from DCA.

      • The river approach to National was a hoot in a 727. But, as to this near collision, I just gotta ask: Wasn’t anyone looking out the window?

    • Since you brought up DEI, don’t watch the video, LISTEN to the video. Obviously the new people on the team made mistakes and the seasoned controllers took over immediately and professionally. ATC is not the place for political policies in the workplace. Period.

      • From the audio you can actually tell the controllers length of experience, qualifications and work history? Wow you are amazing. Couldn’t possibly be an unwritten coordination practice that has been happening for years? When I listen I hear what sounds like a position change of controllers. New voices doesn’t mean the pros took over. Maybe the position change, like a blackjack dealer being relieved with a tap on the shoulder caused very experienced controllers to rush through their menu to go on break? When the final details come out we might have a better idea.

        • I can tell that both controllers were instantly removed after they had “a deal”. So yea, the supervisors took over and you can hear their professionalism. It was also great to hear the professionalism from the pilots to calmly communicate and calmly ask for the telephone number.

      • In addition to it being royally absurd that you seem to think you can tell who is experienced and not from an audio recording, based on your other comments you also seem to be saying that if only the “new-hires” were straight white Christian males, this never would have happened. After all, if “DEI” is the causative factor here then logically, getting rid of “DEI” and its pesky requirement that hiring managers not reject people because they aren’t from exactly the same background as everyone else in the workplace, would have prevented the problem.

        The idea that DEI means “hire unqualified people” is categorical bunk. It just means “don’t reject qualified people because they don’t look and live just like you.”

        • abingyi, the idea of DEI is political; that’s why it’s wrong in a hiring process. We need good PEOPLE, not “representatives” based on race and gender or lack thereof.

  4. 38 years in UK ATC and I simply cannot believe the way things work [or don’t work] in the USA! The runway belongs to the tower or local controller. Therefore any aircraft or vehicle wishing to cross that runway should call the tower. That has been the rule in the UK for decades now. I also note the very vague hold short instructions with no specified holding point name given. A recipe for disaster.

    • Unfortunately that ain’t only the case in the US. I know of a couple of European airports were that is the case too…
      No understanding as to why these dangerous practices are not changed, as you say “a recipe for disaster”.

      • Yes it is. You need a specific clearance to cross a runway in the US. That was a procedure change done maybe 15 years ago. Also you can’t blame GA this time since GA operations at DCA have been regulated out of existence due to outdated and ridiculous post 9/11 secret service rules.

  5. I have a couple of comments. I agree the personal comments towards Russ Niles are uncalled for. On the other hand Russ, please stop referring to CLEARANCES from ATC as INSTRUCTIONS. ATC does not issue instructions to do anything. The only instructions that they can issue is NOT to do something for example, STOP!

    To Bryanbrough After spending my formative years flying for the Royal Navy, then in the U.S.A. For 30 years flying for American Airlines, I have had plenty of opportunities to compare many different systems. Heathrow for example does not compare with the professionalism of somewhere such as O’Hare or JFK with their traffic. Certainly mistakes are occasionally made, which is why I always stressed to my students that ATC issues CLEARANCES for the PIC to accept or reject. As Goldsternp correctly said….8 eyeballs and ears should be on high alert for exactly this situation. The responsibility is not solely that of the controller. The cockpit has the final decision whether or not to accept the ATC CLEARANCE.

    I think I have made my point Russ, I hope that you read this!

        • LOL, yes you are correct. Wasn’t sure our friend from across the lake, whoops pond, was comprehending words. Chips, fries thing maybe. My contention to him was ATC gives instructions all the time. Taxi via A and C, turn to heading 220, climb and maintain 310, traffic alert descend immediately. And so on.

          I would love to hear his Cold War stories for sure being UK military in the 50’s and 60’s. Thanks for your service Brent.

      • “Line up and wait” is just a clearance that is issued and can be accepted or not. We were given this clearance just the other day and declined it because the flight attendants were not ready in back.

        • It is also an instruction that can be denied by the aircrew. Where do you want to go with this?

          Line up and wait runway 4. Pilot – unable
          Descend to flight level 220. Pilot – unable.
          Reduce speed to 170 knots. Pilot – unable

          Instructions, not clearances that the cockpit gets the last word on.

          • True, the AIM/FAR’s uses both terms clearance/instruction. Any clearance/instruction can be denied as you said, that was my point.

  6. It started way back when————–Helm the FAA administrator at that time, son wanted to start an airline—Thats when he convinced congress that they should de-regulate the airline business.
    What started was shotty airlines starting up, poor maintenance, and more regulations.
    Now today you have extremely crowded skies and there is no statement on any airline ticket that says, we guarantee you get there in one piece–I’ve been air carrier for 34 years—and had near midair collision. Extremely close at JFK one dark and stormy night. It’s overcrowded and all this supposedly fancy radar and satellite stuff cannot guarantee safety.

  7. There very well may be a hidden or unknown (unrecorded) agreement or clearance by the Local controller for runway 4 and the Ground controller that cleared SWA across runway 4. Happens all the time, verbal unrecorded clearances across the tower cab, position to position.

    Since the aircraft cockpit has a CVR, it would be extremely constructive and enlightening to mandate constant video and aural recordings of ATC cab operations. There’s plenty that goes on that is never known.

  8. Not condoning mistakes, but mistakes are and going to be made both ATC and in the cockpit. In this event a mistake was caught and corrected. That’s how it is supposed to work. Now some controllers will be given some time in the “hall of shame” and the event will be closely studied to determine if there is a realistic fix to keep it from happening again. Do keep in mind the thousands of safe clearances that were issued all over that day and the many days before.

  9. Just a quick addition to my lengthy rambling. If there is any lingering doubt to the Instructions versus clearance comment. At your FAA hearing after an incident, runway incursion being a good example, try using the “ATC told me to do it” reason and see how far that gets you!

    I started flying in 1957 military, airline, and now general aviation in the RV8 that I built, perhaps that gives some credence to strong feelings concerning the PIC’s authority and responsibility.

    A further comment to our U.K. controller. The hold short INSTRUCTION is most definitely not vague. That is an instruction Not to progress beyond the HOLD SHORT line and in most cases a light system, which is on all major airports. The painted lines are on most minor airports, even those that are uncontrolled. Nothing vague about it, at a controlled airport, if cleared to enter or cross ANY runway, active or otherwise, the PIC has the responsibility to check for himself that it is a valid clearance.
    One of the failings Heathrow for example, is that controllers tend to over control traffic, consequently there is a great deal of holding involved. They certainly don’t have the intensity of traffic, again using O’Hare as a prime example. Just look at the number of runways that they have to coordinate……. Remind us again, how many runways does Heathrow have?

    • The GC gave an instruction to cross runway 4. Not cleared as in a clearance, it was an instruction. Taxi via Kilo, Charlie, cross 4 at Charlie. The pilot driving SWA2937 did just as ATC instructed. Sure that cockpit should cross after visually confirming no traffic, but I do not know what the visibility was at the time.

      • This is why I listen to tower and ground in such situations. I don’t like getting “surprised”.

      • It is a clearance that you do not have to accept. Nothing is mandated by ATC that you are required to comply with. You accept a clearance, not an instruction.

  10. arthur ,

    Yes agree completly. You see, i was there. 38 yrs,what im talking about is the quality of hires. When you bypass the ex military atc, cti students, and hire off the street, and a test to give preference to people who havent worked, cant hold a job,
    and flunked science, over people who hold a cto or a pilots lic. incl. an ifr rating
    then what do you think the quality will be?
    Its tough trying to train the untrainable. We wondered how these people could have passed the faa academy in oke city. We surmised the academy became more of a place where everyone gets passed, gets a cert and trophy. This is todays society. Neighbor just retired from LAUSD , as a teacher. couldnt take it anymore. Tells me horror stories everyday. Attendance, behaviour, grades, dont matter. Everyone passes.
    Right before i retired we got a batch of 15 new controllers , 10 were completely incompetent. When i terminated 5 of them , Everyone thought i was such a mean guy.
    Are you kidding, these people would have never certified. We had a russian girl sent to our facility, (atc-12) who could barely speak english. We had longtime controllers nearing age 56, who retired middle of shift. Walked to the front office, filled out a few papers, turned in their headset, cleaned out their locker and went home.
    Couldnt take the new kids and the lack of good trainees.
    please michael from miami, i took on many marginal cases of people in training. After much effort i got them certified and thru the training program. This included many minorities and women. I have many friends from A to Z. I am not a raciest or sexist.
    What im talking about is the faa’s hiring practices. And hiring the best possible candidates. Ive done many tape talk/qa with controllers and trainees.
    I know what i hear. Another wave of retirements coming. Why are people retireing at 50 at the minium? The faa’s hiring process , and lack of good coworkers.

  11. abingyi, michael in miami,

    Please dont let your own raciest sexist bias imply that arthur and i are “straight white christian males”.
    maybe i should come to your workplace of 38 yrs and tell you whats up.
    this all boils down to the faa hiring practices.
    Hiring off the street. Big points awarded for not holding a job, flunked science, etc.

    if you had experience in aviation, cto control tower operator, pilot license, miltary atc.
    that was completely dismissed. This is serious business atc. You sacrifice alot, due to the work schedule and OT. We need the best and the brightest.
    I could care less about somes race, sex, hair color, tattos, piercing, gender identity, skin color. i want the best people working the boards alongside me. Not preferred hiring due to ‘box checking” . What is so hard to understand about that?

    • Your best and brightest didn’t do a very good job supervising the untrainable, who haven’t worked, can’t hold a job, flunked science, would never have certified. The best and brightest that you want working the boards alongside you allowed a “deal” to develop and then had to step in to fix things. I’m sure you didn’t tell your protégés all that you expounded in your comments, as I’m sure your body language did. So when you terminated 5 of them, it was for living up to your expectations. For different results, try different expectations. And I don’t mean prior experience in aviation, military ATC, pilot licenses, etc., none of which are required for becoming an ATC. That you haven’t figured this out yet, THAT’s what is so hard to understand.

      P.S.: Usually when people demand to work with the best and brightest it’s because they’re needed to shore up and mask poor performance. Good performers can cope with average human coworkers.

  12. sorry john ,
    have to disagree. The Swa was at taxi speed. The jet blue airbus was throttling up to takeoff thrust. They rapidly had to pull the throttles, maybe reverse thrust, and hit the binders good, they aborted when the tower was yelling at them to stop. The airplanes coming AT each other at a angle. The Swa 737 departed for orlando. The jet blue airbus came back to the gate, my guess, was for a brake check and cooling. Possibly passenger discomfort.
    At the speeds they traveling this is seconds.

    The tapes show a lady took over on LC -local control. Could have been a routine, controller break, more likely a supe taking the position. I hope the man LC is ok and didnt experience a heart attack stroke or panic attack. The lady working ground seemed to work a little longer. Maybe to get a body upstairs so she could get off position and write up her Incident/accident report.

    • Your critique, along with comments from two others, validly highlights the need for high standards in air/ground traffic control to ensure safety.

      However, when you address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives negatively without factual support, it appears that you are mixing personal prejudices with professional evaluations. This approach makes you seem like you are overreacting or panicking in an exaggerated manner. Stick to facts and maintain an objective stance.

  13. Stroguy, It may be thought of as being undiplomatic, but impossible to say it otherwise, you are wrong. Totally wrong. The controller issued a CLEARANCE to enter/cross a runway or taxiway. This is not mere semantics, it keeps the PIC in the confirming loop. For example, a pilot cleared to enter and takeoff who does not check finals for approaching traffic would share responsibility with the controller for any conflict. Think San Diego. Any time the FARs use the phrase clearance/instructions, it is only to cover those instances where the controller needs an aircraft to stop, (instruction) EXCEPT in a rare emergency situation such as “Clear the runway immediately” perhaps to avoid a conflict.

    As an additional comment, I don’t think “Line up and Wait” is an acceptable phrase in the U.S. I always thought that was a peculiarly U.K. ridiculous, potentially confusing clearance phrase that had been changed for good reason.

  14. Stroguy made a comment acknowledging service in Cold days in the early sixties got me thinking. Operating single seat aircraft over the North Sea/Sub Arctic/North Atlantic was at times thought provoking, sometimes challenging, but at no time would I have wanted to change seats with anyone. We had a regrettable accident rate, but no media hysteria. This latest deal at DCA was potentially disasterous, but everyone did their jobs and the incident was resolved, no problem. Now we have non stop media hysteria with its associated drama, leaving the travelling public being led to believe that the transport system is falling apart.
    Years ago this situation would perhaps have resulted in a few sharp words, with the controller supervisor having a few quiet words. The people responsible would be suitably chastened, and be more alert in future.

    In a more sensible era……”Eastern, immediate left turn for noise abatement.” “what noise abatement we are at Flight Level 370”
    “Can you imagine the noise your 727 will make if it hits United’s DC10”

    Can you imagine the media would make of that relaxed, but efficient exchange? Most of us have traditionally had an excellent cooperative relationship with ATC. I hope we don’t start pointing fingers. Pilots and controllers have always been able to do a very good job, covering each other on occasions for the occasional mistake on either side..

    • I don’t have to imagine what the media would make of that relaxed, but efficient exchange, I KNOW they’ll do as they did with the 737 MAX crashes… fail to comprehend it, but with hubris driving their belief that anyone can understand complex matters—who needs a lengthy and expensive education?—they’ll substitute common sense for that prerequisite education, mangling facts and meanings until they “fit” within the framework of understanding that common sense will allow and the understanding they gain will be pudding, but sensible pudding to an audience also equipped with only common sense. And that’s where the adage: “Little knowledge is a dangerous thing” comes in. Because sensible pudding is easy to understand, and what is easy to understand seems plausible in the absence of any contradictory argument. And what is plausible comes to be accepted as the truth. Thus the lies embedded in plausible pudding become the facts for further analysis and conclusions, all of them flawed, perhaps spawning actions which may be dangerous, but nobody knows. Hence the danger in speculating based on little to nothing, especially in niche topic blogs such as this, where the educated and informed community may well be aware of the speculative or hypothetical (or absurd) nature of a comment or thread, but transient incompetent eyes may not. And then all bets are off. As Mark Twain said, “A lie travels half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” And he didn’t know what the internet could do. Thus it was that the design of the MAX came to be blamed for the deaths of 346 people, Boeing came to be accused of “a culture of concealment”, of cost-cutting and selling safety for a price, of rushing an unstable airplane into service, of creating a monstrous automated system that required redundancy but had none, that wrested control from the pilots and could not be interrupted, and that pushed the airplane into an unrecoverable dive while the pilots sat stunned and non-reactive because training on the monstrous system had been hidden to save costs. None of that is true, but it—and much more—was all whipped into a plausible pudding and fed to the public (and Congress), who swallowed it hook, line and sinker, while the data from the flight recorders that told a very contradictory story was conveniently ignored.

      And so aviation safety took two steps backwards, as an airplane that had nothing wrong with its design was grounded for 20 months while everyone played charades and pretended to be fixing it, until a world distracted and exhausted by COVID-19 let it go. Make that four steps backward. Not only did we fix what wasn’t broke while the real cause of the crashes—grossly deficient pilot training—skated by untouched, but additionally, a woefully misguided Congress passed laws that dictated a specific design be implemented on airplane models, an action that is guaranteed to further reduce safety by increasing the likelihood of procedural error and confusion in the cockpit especially during emergencies.

      There was a great article written by Russ Niles on AvWeb a few weeks after the MAX was grounded, exhorting readers to leave the speculation about the cause of the crashes to the investigators (or something like that). I don’t know whether readers abided by his advice, but the rest of the world didn’t. That article is worthy of periodic republication, for the situation continues to deteriorate. The number of aviation enthusiasts with inquiring minds eager to learn, that have been misinformed over the past 5 years is staggering. It is a tragedy, for the human mind does not easily relinquish what it has learned, pudding or not.

  15. When ground can cross a plane on am active, not tower, this WILL happen.

    Whatever allows airfields to letter it this way is a setup.

  16. The DEI initiatives will play themselves out right in front of our eyes and yes, the results will be littered with dead people. It will be denied of course. It’s just the way it is. No surprise there.

  17. Wow – so many comments on how DEI is to blame for this incident! Can anyone produce any documentary support for the idea that DEI initiatives were a proximate cause for this incident, such as a completed investigation or even a statement from the FAA? Or maybe comments from the controllers? Perhaps a note from someone who is familiar with the involved controllers’ backgrounds and the decisions that went into hiring them?

    I’ll be waiting patiently for the proof to show up here in the comments.

    Have a great day, everybody!

    • How about common sense and a little bit of deductive reasoning. I know that’s a little difficult for some people to comprehend. Don’t think about it to long your head may burst.

    • I admire your indefatigable patience, for surely you know no proof is forthcoming!

      The logic goes thus: We’re not racist, so we DO believe that a DEI hire is just as likely as anyone else to successfully train and become an ATC. BUT, because of the DEI requirement, others who have been fortunate enough to acquire “additionals” such as a pilot license, military ATC experience, ivory tower residency, etc. may not have the elevated chance they used to have of being accepted and the quality of the collective ATC function will deteriorate. In other words, the quality of ATC as it has been is because of all those additionals. Ergo, the FAA’s basic qualification requirements for the ATC job are deficient.

  18. Hi, tom my. Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, ‘common sense’ and ‘deductive reasoning’ aren’t being applied here. What’s actually going on is more like ‘stereotyping’ and ‘scapegoating’. Nobody on this comment stream (yet) has shown that this incident involved controllers who were hired because of DEI initiatives or were somehow unqualified for their position. Is it your contention (and perphaps that of many others) that all ATC mistakes, or any mistakes by anyone at any time, for that matter, are the product of DEI initiatives? I guess I should expect to see mistakes disappearing wherever DEI initiatives are absent, then?

    Think of this – when you make a mistake (we all do, of course) which DEI program do you blame for it?

    Sometimes a mistake is just a mistake. Hope you have a great day.

  19. Hi all,
    This DCA incident happened 18 apr. Yet an even bigger incident happened a day
    before at jfk on wed the 17th. Im sure will be reported on avweb any day soon.
    A swiss air flight departing rwy 4L . Four airliners landed rwy4R. Were qued up
    at different intersections to cross rwy 4L.
    Gound crosses all 4. LC then clears the Swiss A330 heavy for takeoff. The swiss air reports aborting, aircraft on the rwy. The ground controller tells the crossing planes to expedite crossing, like little ducks crossing a road and a semi is bearing down on them. Incredible. Sloppy phraseology.
    Raf, i usually like your comments. but cant agree this time. I am not overreacting or panicking . I am ringing the alarm bells from the mountain top.
    We are going to have a major castrophe any day now.
    The swiss cheese holes to line up. A supe not in the cab, bad wx and vis, ground radar out of service.
    Why? The faa’s hiring practices.
    You see i was there. 38 yrs. i had a front row seat.
    The tried and true way for hiring was to take the faa atc skills assement test.
    i you got a 90 or above your going to the faa academy. Even after 10 yrs atc in usaf
    i had to take it. No easy test, 4 hrs. 10-12. one hour for lunch. then 1-3pm.
    speed , correctness taking the test counted.when we came back from lunch, only half the testers came back.
    Around 2010 a V.G. was promoted to faa HR-1. this has all been reported here before on avweb. Word on the street was she said the tower cabs and radar rooms too white.
    She came up with the BQ. Biographical Questionarre. Dumped the atc skills assement test. The BQ questionare droped the points for military atc or cti scool grads holding
    a cto cert. pilots lic and or ifr rating no more points.
    Big points awarded for flunking math and science in school! Not being able to hold a job! Been unemployed 5 mo. or more in the previous year!

    That was the hiring stream! Cti students sue the faa over they going to school
    spending big $ to get an atc degree, then the faa hiring off the street hires ahead of them. Dei hires, checking boxes, instead of hire from the top of the barrell
    we hired from the bottom. Instead of the atc skills test, merit, aviation knowledge, cto, pilots cert.
    This was around 2010-2015. It was reported on here avweb a leaked faa memo from the oklahoma city academy. To pass the students even if they flunked!
    V.G. got caught giving the test answers to a supe at washington center, to coach people how to take the test. She then retired.
    The Faa went back to the atc skills test
    This group is now beccoming a mainstay of the workplace, maybe at their second facility now. They will be training the new hires. Maybe promoted into management.
    That was during the obama administration, the start of the dei hiring push.
    Again its the hiring process. BQ test. taking from the bottom of the barrel instead of the top.
    How do you think the cti and ex military feel when they get in the door if ever?
    A chip on their shoulder from day one.
    All i wanted was good qualified coworkers and trainees.I dont care what your skin color,hair color, race, tattos, piercings, religion,gender, gender pref, is. Just good quality people who can do this job well working alongside me.
    I could go on and on. I saw the unthinkable. People in the agency at their 4th facility.
    never certified at any position at any facility. 14 yrs in the agency, hold down a atc slot. Always file a eeo, hardship, sexual harassement complaint at the 11 hour.
    Trainees show up , hardly can speak english. Sending trainees to a atc -12 facility.
    Thats like learning to fly in a B747 instead of a C-150. Completely burning out the controllers to train them.
    I hear from many fellow retired, ready to retire friends. Its sad what happened. We were very proud of our work and devotion to this job. Very consuming. 60 hr work weeks, 6 days a week. No end of this in sight. Every sunday, every holiday.
    Not respected by management. During the G.W. Bush era, the union natca and faa at impass. No contract. Imposed work rules. Treated badly.
    Jane garvey , a previous faa administrator , wrote a prologue in the next administration union contract w natca. She said this cant go on, and that this should never happen again. Thanks Jane. This was years ago. Look where we are now.
    In closing i am asking the pilots to maintain absolute situational awareness.
    I refer you all to google, then read dei in the sky by zerohedge.
    Im praying for safety in the atc system.


  20. ATC has been undermanned for 25 + years, way before DEI was a thing. Too few, too new controllers, working too many overtime hours are the problem. Rants about DEI miss the point.