Feds warn pilots not to land at wrong airport


It's the type of safety alert that makes you chuckle and say, "Seriously, they need to be reminded of this?"

Apparently, the National Transportation Safety Board thinks pilots do need to be reminded their job is to make it to the proper destination.

So the NTSB has issued a safety alert warning pilots not to land at the wrong airport.

Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

As ridiculous as it may seem, the U.S. agency charged with ensuring safety in the sky (and on the runway) is serious about making sure there are no more incidents like the ones a few months ago in Wichita, Kan., and Branson, Mo. In two separate incidents planes landed at the wrong airport in the right city.

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"The consequences for pilots mistaking a nearby airport for the intended one, or landing on the wrong runway or a taxiway, can have catastrophic consequences," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.

'I’m not at your airport'

Just last week, the Federal Aviation Administration released the audio exchange between the pilot of a Southwest Airlinesplane and the air traffic controller when the Southwest flight landed at the wrong airport in Branson, Mo., on Jan. 12.

"I assume I'm not at your airport," the pilot said to the air traffic controller.

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The air traffic controller replied, "Flight 4013, have you landed?"

"Yes," said the Southwest pilot.

A few seconds later, when staff in the tower discusses the plane landing at the wrong airport, one person with air traffic control says, "Are you kidding?"

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With both incidents the planes landed and eventually took off from the wrong airport without anyone being hurt.