A Cessna Citation business jet was instructed to discontinue landing at the San Diego International Airport Friday to avoid a Southwest plane that was still on the runway, according to KTLA sister station KSWB.
The Federal Aviation Administration said officials are investigating a “go-around” that occurred shortly before noon Friday. The term “go-around” refers to flight procedure in which an arriving aircraft aborts its landing and returns to the landing queue.
Officials say these instances are initiated if a pilot or air traffic controller is not completely satisfied that the requirements for a safe landing are in place.
According to the FAA, preliminary review of the event showed that an air traffic controller instructed the pilot of a Cessna Citation business jet to discontinue landing because a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 was still on the runway awaiting clearance to depart.
In the following statement, the FAA explained the situation further:
“The controller had previously cleared the Citation to land on Runway 27 and then instructed Southwest Flight 2493 to taxi onto that runway and wait for instructions to depart. The facility’s automated surface surveillance system alerted the controller about the developing situation.”
The FAA is sending a team of experts to the San Diego facility to investigate. Officials say the team will determine the closest proximity between the airplanes as part of the review.
The FAA held an industry-wide Safety Summit earlier this year on March 15. Since the summit, officials say the transportation agency has taken actions “to ensure operations are conducted at the highest level of safety.”
“One close call is one too many,” the FAA stated.