Posted BY: Teresa | NwoReport

A Cessna Citation business jet narrowly avoided a catastrophic collision with a departing Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 at San Diego International Airport. The incident, which occurred just before 12:00 p.m. on Friday, prompted immediate investigations by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The air traffic controller had mistakenly cleared both aircraft to use the same runway simultaneously – the Cessna for landing and the Southwest flight for takeoff.

The FAA clarified that the air traffic controller initially granted the Cessna clearance to land on Runway 27, then instructed Southwest Flight 2493 to taxi onto the same runway and await departure instructions. Fortunately, an automated ground surveillance system detected the perilous proximity of the two aircraft, triggering an alert to the controller. Swift action was taken as the controller directed the Cessna to abort its landing approach, averting a potentially disastrous collision.

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The Cessna managed to land safely at San Diego International Airport, and the Southwest flight successfully took off, later landing as planned in San Jose, California. Thankfully, no injuries were reported on either aircraft. Both the FAA and NTSB have launched thorough investigations into the incident, with Southwest Airlines cooperating fully. This alarming near collision is the latest in a series of runway-related incidents at various airports this year.

This incident marked the sixth near-collision event on airport runways since January. In a similar occurrence in February, a FedEx cargo plane came perilously close to landing on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 during takeoff at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Likewise, in June, an Allegiant Air plane narrowly avoided crashing into a smaller aircraft at the same airport. The FAA is dispatching a team of experts to further investigate the matter at San Diego International Airport. As aviation authorities work to enhance safety protocols and prevent such incidents, this near-miss serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of rigorous air traffic control and comprehensive safety measures on runways.