Following a near collision between a Southwest Airlines flight and a FedEx cargo flight at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) on February 4, the Airport Advisory Commission discussed the preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) during a meeting on March 8. The report, released March 2, is still subject to change.
The report found that the FedEx flight was less than a mile away from landing when the Southwest flight began to leave the same runway. The FedEx captain called for a “go-around” after seeing the Southwest flight and broadcasted “Southwest abort” and then “FedEx is on the go.” ABIA Chief Administration Officer Tracy Thompson reported that the closest proximity had not yet been determined, but fortunately, no injuries or deaths occurred due to the incident.
Airport Advisory Commission Chair Eugene Sepulveda expressed concern that the increase of traffic at the airport is affecting safety. Data released by airport officials on February 14 showed that 2022 marked ABIA’s busiest year on record. Sepulveda stated that he hopes Austin will work with the FAA to confirm that the increased traffic isn’t diluting safety protocols or resources available for safety.
Thompson stated that it can take up to a year for a final report to be issued from the federal agencies investigating the incident. She emphasized that safety is the number one priority for all airports, and ABIA is no exception. The airport airfield operations team and executive staff leadership team are actively engaged in supporting the federal agencies investigating the incident.