(MAINNEWS) – Air traffic controllers were able to avert a collision after they noticed an American Airlines Boeing 777 crossing the runway in front of a Delta Boeing 737 that was about to take off.
“Delta 1943, cancel takeoff clearance! Delta 1943, cancel takeoff clearance!” an air traffic controller could be heard saying in a recording.
Air traffic controllers quickly acted after seeing the runway incursion through the Airport Surface Detection System, a surveillance system that tracks planes on the ground.
“According to a preliminary analysis, Delta Air Lines Flight 1943 stopped its takeoff roll approximately 1,000 feet before reaching the point where American Airlines Flight 106, a Boeing 777, had crossed from an adjacent taxiway,” a spokesperson for the FAA told FOX Business in a statement.
The Delta flight, which had 145 customers and six crew members on board, returned to the gate and deplaned. It eventually took off the next morning.
“The safety of our customers and crew is always Delta’s number one priority,” a Delta spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement. “Delta will work with and assist aviation authorities on a full review of flight 1943 on Jan. 13 regarding a successful aborted takeoff procedure at New York-JFK. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and delay of their travels.”
A spokesperson for American Airlines deferred comment to the FAA and NTSB.
By Paul Best