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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Planes Nearly Collide on Runway at Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport

Aired August 16, 2001 - 16:45   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: Happening news now, breaking news -- information that we're getting on an event that occurred at an airport in Dallas today. Joining us with the latest information from federal safety officials in Washington is CNN's Patty Davis now -- Patty.

PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joie, CNN has learned that there was a very serious runway near-collision at the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport this morning. The FAA confirms that an air traffic controller indeed did clear a Delta 737 for takeoff at the same time that air traffic controller clear a Continental 737 that had just landed to cross that same active runway getting back to his gate.

One source said that the Delta plane...

CHEN: Patty, if I can -- excuse -- excuse me for just a moment here. We're getting a picture. This if from WFAA in Dallas. This is of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport. Please go on, but we just want to let our viewers know what it is they're looking at here.

DAVIS: Well, one source tells me that the Delta plane had to pull up so quickly that it damaged its tail, had to come back around and land. No one was hurt. The FAA says, though, that the two planes did come within 500 feet vertically of one another on the active runway.

Now, a recent report by the FAA finds that these runway incursions or these close calls on the runway are on the rise. They now occur at an average of one a day. But the FAA says that most of them are not serious. This one, however, was very serious, very close.

The air traffic controller, I am told, by the FAA as well as the air traffic controller's supervisor have been taken off the job and decertified. Now, that's routine in an instance like this.

But the headline here again, a near collision on the runway today -- they call it a runway incursion -- at the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport happened at about 10:23 this morning involving a Delta 737 and a Continental 737. No one hurt -- Joie.

CHEN: All right, Patty Davis, the important thing, no one hurt there. Patty Davis reporting to us from Washington.

As you could see in those pictures from WFAA in Dallas, traffic moving right around on the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport this afternoon. Thanks very much, Patty.

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