NTSB Issues Reminder to Pilots: Land at the Right Airport

  • Mar 26, 2014 3:19pm GMT

After two separate incidents in the last six months of pilots of commercial aircraft landing at the wrong airport, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a reminder to pilots to verify they are landing at the correct airport.

"All of us have experienced a loss of situational awareness at some time," NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said. But "mistaking a nearby airport for the intended one, or landing on the wrong runway or a taxiway, can have catastrophic consequences," she said.

Government safety data and news reports reviewed by The Associated Press revealed at least 150 flights made such mistakes over the past two decades. Thirty-five of those cases involved wrong landings. The other 115 cases consist of aborted landing attempts or erroneous approaches.

The NTSB made five recommendations to flight crews for avoiding the mistake:

  • Verify the plane's position relative to the destination.
  • Maintain extra vigilance when identifying the destination airport at night, when both of the recent mistakes happened.
  • Become familiar with the airport's layout and relationship to other facilities.
  • Use the most precise navigation aids possible.
  • Confirm the destination before reporting the airport or runway is in sight.

Original story from USA Today.