After Record 592 ‘Near Misses,’ FAA to Redefine Term
The head of the Federal Aviation Administration assured travelers today they’re not playing “Russian roulette” when boarding a plane despite a record 592 near-collisions in midair in 1984 that prompted safety concerns.
At the same time, FAA Administrator Donald D. Engen said he will appoint an independent auditor to make sure that the agency is compiling a complete record of the incidents.
Engen also disclosed that he is considering changing the official definition of a near-miss. Currently, it is defined as when two airplanes come within a mile of each other or when either pilot perceives a safety threat.
Under the proposed change, a 500-foot “bubble” would be drawn around a plane and penetration of that bubble by another plane would be considered a near-collision in midair.