The FAA announced that Dallas Love Field will be one of the first airports in the nation to implement new technology aimed at reducing near misses between plane takeoffs and landings.

It's part of a much-needed safety precaution by some in the industry after several close calls, including Thursday's.

During the incident at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, air traffic controllers could be heard telling the Southwest Airlines plane to stop shortly after taxiing down Runway 4.

Meanwhile, another controller cleared the JetBlue flight for takeoff just before he told the pilot to abort, and the JetBlue flight was heard to stop shortly after clearing it to take off, officials said.

“If people don't understand the seriousness of the safety situation we're in today, something tragic is going to happen,” said Dan Stratman.

Stratman, a former airline pilot and author of the aviation thriller “Mayday,” said such near-misses on runways during takeoff and landing are becoming increasingly common, largely due to staffing shortages. He said that this was due to a lack of experience in the industry as a whole.

“COVID-19 has devastated the airline industry and led to a large number of redundancies.Of course, those who left were the most experienced, and since then the industry has been scrambling to recover by hiring. “It's happening,” he said.

Last year, the FAA announced several initiatives to eliminate near-misses after an independent safety review highlighted concerns and found “an erosion of safety margins that must be urgently addressed.”

This week, Dallas Love Field announced it would be the first to install a new airfield surveillance system, along with airports in Austin, Indianapolis and Nashville.

“We are committed to doing everything possible to make our runways even safer. This cost-effective technology allows controllers to monitor and control aircraft across the airfield under all weather conditions. This will enable timely and accurate depictions of vehicles,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said in a release.

“It's like having another set of eyes over your shoulder. If there's a collision, it automatically issues some warnings,” Stratman said.

Last year, there were six runway incursions at Love Field and 22 at DFW Airport, according to FAA records. None of them were classified as serious.

Other airports across the country are doing the same, and Thursday's close call at Reagan Airport was far from the first.

“This new technology makes the system safer, but the real solution is to get more people on the job and increase their experience level so we don't run out of staff,” Stratman said.

As part of a safety call to action issued last year, the FAA pledged to hire more air traffic controllers and strengthen facility training programs for new graduates, among other improvements announced this week.

The new technology is scheduled to debut in Dallas in July.

The FAA says it plans to introduce it at several other airports across the U.S. by the end of 2025.

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