NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The close call between two planes at Newark Liberty International Airport last month has prompted changes in the airport's takeoff and landing procedures.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that planes taking off and landing simultaneously won't use the intersecting runways where a United flight coming from San Francisco and an ExpressJet flight taking off for Memphis, Tennessee, came dangerously close to each other on April 24.
"The FAA has investigated the recent air traffic incident at Newark and has taken steps to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future," the FAA's statement said.
Specifically, the FAA said, planes are no longer using the east-west Runway 29 for arrivals at the same time planes are taking off on the north-south Runway 4R.
In a recently released preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board classified the April arriving and department flights as a "near midair collision." The planes came within about 200 feet laterally of each other and 400 feet vertically.
The east-west Runway 29 that the United flight was approaching is normally used to augment the two north-south runways, but has been in heavier use recently because of construction work on one of the north-south runways.
The ExpressJet flight was taking off heading north while the United flight was heading west to land. The NTSB report said an air traffic controller told the incoming plane to abort its landing and perform a "go-around" and climb back up. The ExpressJet pilot told the tower he was keeping the plane's nose low on takeoff; he can be heard on a radio recording saying the United flight came "real close."
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