Dear pilots: Please stop landing at the wrong airport. That's the gist of an alert from the National
Transportation Safety Board, which is going out of its way to remind pilots that they should be sure
they are landing at the correct airport.
The alert message reads as follows:
Following two recent incidents in which transport category airplanes landed at the wrong airports,
the National Transportation Safety Board has issued a Safety Alert to remind pilots of the vigilance
required to avoid such potentially catastrophic mistakes.
The latest Safety Alert, "Landing at the Wrong Airport," cites the January 2014 incident in which a
Southwest Airlines 737 landed at the wrong airport in Branson, Missouri; and the November 2013 incident
in which a Boeing 747 cargo plane landed on a 6,100-foot runway instead of the 12,000-foot one at its
intended airport 12 miles away.
The NTSB sympathizes with pilots who experience "a loss of situation awareness," but the alert is clearly
motivated by concern about a potentially grievous mistake. "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.