Disaster averted after JFK-bound flight nearly lands on same runway as outbound aircraft
Air traffic controllers averted a near-disaster at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, after a Volaris airlines flight attempted to land on the same runway as a departing Delta airliner.
Instead of landing on JFK’s Runway 13 left, the cockpit crew of incoming Volaris Flight 880 from Mexico mistakenly lined up with JFK’s Runway 13 right, where Delta Flight 4231 was already moving down the runway and preparing for takeoff to Reagan National Airport in Arlington County, Va., Fortune reports.
Upon seeing the Volaris aircraft, Delta’s flight crew notified air traffic controllers, who quickly told Delta to abort its plans for takeoff.
“Brickyard 4231 cancel takeoff plans,” an air traffic controller could be heard telling Delta Flight 4231, according to recordings obtained by NBC New York. “Brickyard cancel takeoff plans.”
According to a statement issued by the FAA, air traffic controllers issued “go around” instructions to the Volaris aircraft, which reentered the traffic pattern at about 1:25 p.m., and later landed safely.
No injuries were reported.
“The crew of Delta Flight 4231, operated by Delta Connection carrier Republic Airline, safely executed a low-speed takeoff rejection from New York-JFK Tuesday afternoon at the direction of air traffic control,” said Delta in a statement issued to Fox News. “Following proper procedures, the aircraft exited the runway; the crew subsequently requeued for departure and completed the flight to Washington Reagan without incident.
“The safety of our customers and crew is our top priority.”
On Tuesday night, Volaris also issued a statement regarding the incident, in which they vowed to investigate the cause of the mistake.
“At Volaris, the safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority. Pursuant to our protocols, we will conduct an investigation to determine the factors that led to this event.” the airline said in a statement.
This is the second time in as many weeks that two planes came dangerously close at JFK airport. On Nov. 27, an EgyptAir flight clipped wings with a Virgin Atlantic flight shortly after 7 p.m. Both planes returned to the terminal and no injuries were reported.