Air Safety

Archive Report

New Concern Over the Airways

Public Unease From Recent Safety Reports

As the number of planes increases and the nation's airways and airports become more congested, more people are turning their attention to the question of air safety. Last year, the United States experienced the lowest death toll from aircraft accidents since 1957—124 deaths in three fatal crashes. In the background, however, were 269 reported instances of air collisions being narrowly averted—“near misses”—which raised the question of whether adequate safety precautions were being taken on the ground and in the cockpit.

Government officials in charge of making the nation's airways safe emphasize that the United States has the safest air traffic control system in the world. According to Federal Aviation Administrator John McLucas, 10 times as many ...

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