Now that Federal Aviation Administrator Randy Babbit has answered the question that even Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano wouldn’t touch — why were homeland security officials frozen out of the Flight 188 situation? — the mea culpas are coming from the military… sort of.
The Associated Press reports that Gen. Gene Renuart, who heads U.S. Northern Command, said he learned of the incident just four or five minutes before the Federal Aviation Administration regained contact with the Northwest Airlines pilots, who were out of touch with air traffic controllers for more than an hour as their jet sped toward Minneapolis St. Paul.
Renuart says fighter jets should’ve been airborne. He says Northern Command is conducting an “internal review.”
Coincidentally, Gen. Renuart’s command is hosting 4,500 military and civilian personnel from around the country next week to take part in a training expercise simulating a terrorist attack in the United States.
(h/t: Sara Meyer)
Meanwhile, the safety woes for the airlines continue. The FAA says a Midwest Airlines jet came within 82 feet of the nose of a departing Northwest Airlines jet at Los Angeles on Sunday, violating rules designed to prevent collisions on runways.
It’s not easy being the air traffic controller in charge of preventing these things as this situation in New York a few years ago revealed: