What's Going On At JFK Airport? One Week, Two Near Plane Crashes: Here's What Officials Told Benzinga

Zinger Key Points
  • Officials are investigating a Jan. 13 near-collision American Airlines and Delta Airlines planes at JFK Airport in New York City.
  • The agency is also investigating a Wednesday incident involving two JetBlue aircrafts which struck each other.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating two incidents involving multiple airlines at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport over the course of one week.

What Happened: Officials are investigating a Jan. 13 incident between a Boeing 737 operated by Delta Air Lines, Inc. DAL, which nearly collided with a Boeing 777 operated by American Airlines Group Inc AAL crossing the same taxiway.

The collision was averted when an air traffic controller (ATC) noticed the two planes nearing each other, saying “S**t! Delta 1943, cancel take-off clearance! Delta 1943, cancel take-off clearance!" The ATC can be heard saying in audio captured by LiveATC.

Both planes had passengers in them and no injuries were reported.

Even though the collision was averted, the FAA said it is investigating the incident, noting that the ATCs rely on an Airport Surface Detection System which alerts them of potential runway conflicts by providing detailed coverage of movement on runways and taxiways.

The agency is also investigating a Wednesday incident involving two JetBlue Airways Corporation JBLU aircraft when JetBlue Flight 1603 struck the tail of a parked JetBlue aircraft while pushing back from a gate at JFK.

That flight, according to the FAA spokesperson, was headed to Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. No injuries were reported.

Why It Matters: The Airport Surface Detection System may not be the problem.

A source familiar with the Jan. 13 incident between Delta and American told CNN earlier this week that the detection system was working properly at the time of the near collision, raising the possibility that human error contributed to the event.

Airport staff “went out immediately” to confirm Runway Status Lights were working properly, the person said.

The FAA said the investigations into the incidents are ongoing.

JetBlue and Delta Airlines did not immediately respond to Benzinga’s request for comment.

Read Next: Why United Airlines Shares Are Flying By 52-Week Highs Wednesday

Photo: EQRoy via Shutterstock

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