A near-collision between two business aircraft at a runway intersection on an airport new New York is under investigation by the US National Transportation Safety Board. According to the NTSB's preliminary reports, both aircraft were cleared to take-off on separate but intersecting runways by a tower controller at Teterboro airport, New Jersey.
The event, which occurred on 17 June, is the latest in a spate of potentially fatal runway incursion incidents involving all categories of aircraft, and the NTSB has urged the US Federal Aviation Administration to redouble its efforts to raise awareness of the factors that cause incursions.
In this case, the NTSB reports that an Avantair Piaggio Avanti (N1572SL) flight planned for an instrument flight rules departure, at 13:19:02 reported ready to depart from runway 24. The tower controller responded: "Avantair one five two runway 24 cleared for take-off." At 13:19:42 the pilot of a Cirrus Design SR22 (N6026K) on a visual flight rules departure called ready for take-off from runway 19, and the tower controller gave the clearance: "Cirrus two six kilo left turn northeast bound maintain at or below one thousand runway 19 at bravo cleared for take-off."
The NTSB reports that the Avanti pilots saw the SR22 rolling and brought their aircraft to a halt in the intersection, blowing two main gear tyres. The SR22 passed the intersection 150m (490ft) before the Avanti reached it. There were three controllers in the visual control room at the time, reports the NTSB, and the visibility was good. Of the three controllers, the NTSB explains, one was handling local control and the other two, classified as "developmental controllers", were "working clearance delivery" and were facing the other way.
Teterboro's safety record has raised concerns among people living in the local area and an airport user group is pledged to improve standards there.