Recent Near-miss Airplane Accidents

Are Near Miss Airplane Accidents Common?

During January and February of 2023, there were seven runway incursions of United States commercial airlines. This is the highest rate of such incidents in five years. From 2018 to 2022, there were a total of 23 comparable incidents, with 5 occurring in 2022.

In response to these events, the Federal Aviation Administration announced a review on February 28, 2023, led by acting administrator Billy Nolen. The review began on March 15. Additionally, U.S. aviation industry leaders met on the same day for a safety summit, marking the first time in 14 years.

The New York Times examined internal FAA safety documents and a NASA database to find that only a limited number of near-misses and mid-air scares have been released to the public.

Are Near Miss Airplane Accidents Common?​

What's Causing the Near Miss Incidents?

A considerable number of flights are being operated by crews with limited experience. In the initial phases of the pandemic, airlines implemented workforce reductions and witnessed retirements among seasoned aviation personnel. As travel demand again increased, carriers had to efficiently recruit and train numerous new employees.

The push has been mostly successful. According to federal data, the number of people working in the air transportation industry increased from almost 477,000 in January 2022 to nearly 522,000 as of last January.

The shortage of air traffic controllers has been a growing concern in recent years, and it has raised concerns about the potential increase in near-miss airplane accidents.

Air traffic controllers play an important role in ensuring the safe and efficient movement of aircraft in the airspace. They are responsible for managing the flow of air traffic, providing pilots with instructions, and monitoring the aircraft to prevent collisions.

In March, the 46th anniversary of the deadliest aviation accident in history will be marked. In 1977, at the main airport in Tenerife, Spain, 583 people lost their lives when two planes collided on the runway. [1]

What's Causing the Near Miss Incidents?​

Notable Near-Miss Incidents This Year

According to a report from the Department Of Transportation’s inspector general, this June, 20 of 26 critical air traffic control facilities were staffed below the minimum threshold of 85%, with controllers working mandatory overtime and six-day work weeks to cover the shortages.

The air traffic controllers union told ABC News that this is not sustainable. The FAA said the U.S. aviation system is the safest in the world, but one close call is too many. [3]

If you or a loved one has been a victim of an aviation accident, trust Goldberg & Loren aviation lawyers to fight for your rights. Contact them today for a free consultation.


[1] Crew concerns air traffic strains could be behind near-miss flight incidents at airports. (2023, March 11). NBC News.

[2] Muntean, Jordan Valinsky, G. W. (2023, March 1). The 5 airplane near crashes under investigation | CNN Business. CNN.

[3] New investigation reveals rash of airplane near-misses on runways, in skies. (2023, August 22). ABC7 New York.

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