FAA Warns Airports After Report That Jet Nearly Hit Ambulance On Runway

Air traffic controllers in tower

Photo: Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an "aviation safety call to action" in the wake of numerous close calls and collisions between airplanes at airports across the country.

The FAA did not propose any specific policies to enhance safety but urged the industry to be more vigilant and to follow current safety regulations and procedures.

"Operators should evaluate information collected through their safety management processes, identify hazards, increase and improve safety communications with employees and enact mitigations," the FAA said in the alert.

The call to action comes one day after a report about a Southwest Airlines flight nearly colliding with an ambulance on the runway at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. According to audio released by DC News Now, air traffic controllers frantically tried to get the ambulance to stop, but the driver relayed incorrect instructions before driving across the runway. The Southwest Airlines plane came within 137 feet of the ambulance but managed to take off safely without any incident.

Last week, FAA officials met with industry leaders in McLean, Virginia, to discuss the issue.

"There is no question that aviation is amazingly safe, but vigilance can never take the day off," Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a statement last week. "We must ask ourselves difficult and sometimes uncomfortable questions, even when we are confident that the system is sound."

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