Two planes nearly collided over Queens as one aircraft took off and another was completing a landing, officials said.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a June 13 incident in which a Delta Airlines Boeing 747 regional jet arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 2:40 p.m. came perilously close to a Shuttle America Embraer E170 flight departing from LaGuardia Airport.
The planes were turning away from each other when they lost the required three mile separation between them, the agency said in a statement.
Both landed safely, though according to published reports, the two aircraft were at one point only 200 feet apart vertically and about half a mile horizontally.
The FAA said flight routes approved in December “ensure the required three-mile separation” between JFK arrivals and LaGuardia departures while using a new, precise navigation system.
But State Senator Tony Avella said the close call was a warning sign of public safety hazards to come if the administration continues to increase air traffic over the city.
“This latest incident is indicative of this danger,” the lawmaker said. “Unfortunately, if the FAA continues to pursue this goal, near misses could become more common and lead to truly tragic events.”