U.S. Airways said it will assist the federal officials in investigating a report which said that three commuter jets came close to within seconds of a midair collision at the Reagan National Airport on Tuesday, after air traffic controllers mistakenly cleared two outbound flights in the direction of another plane that was coming in to land.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that three US Airways jets carrying 192 passengers and crew members narrowly averted a midair disaster Tuesday around 2 p.m., as a number of inbound planes were queued up to turn above Mount Vernon, fly north over the Potomac River and land on National Airport's main runway. The report, quoting federal officials, said controllers were reversing the path of planes coming into the airport in response to an approaching storm. All three planes reached their destinations safely.
The FAA's (Federal Aviation Administration) public affairs office issued a statement Wednesday night saying an investigation has been initiated and appropriate action will be taken to address the communication error.
US Airways spokesman Todd Lehmacher conveyed in an email to the Associated Press that the airline was "currently investigating and working with the FAA to determine what occurred. The safety of our customers and employees is always our top priority."