NTSB: New procedures needed for ‘go-around’ landings

Washington – The Federal Aviation Administration should modify procedures for air traffic controllers to help avoid mid-air collisions among aircraft performing a “go-around” – or aborted landing – according to new recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Go-around procedures typically occur when an aircraft cannot initially make a safe final approach to land, for reasons including adverse weather or delayed landing gear extension. FAA has requirements to help ensure separation between two departing airplanes that have intersecting flight paths, but does not prohibit controllers from clearing an airplane to land when it has performed a go-around and is in the flight path of another departing or landing aircraft, according to an NTSB press release.

During situations in which an airplane is performing a go-around, NTSB recommends that FAA require air traffic controllers and flight crew to apply the same procedures they use for departing or landing aircraft with intersecting flight paths.

The recommendations follow five recent incidents in which two planes – one executing a go-around in each scenario – came within 400 feet or less of one another.