NTSB reminds pilots not to land at wrong airport
By Ben Popken, NBC News
(NBC News) - The National Transportation Safety Board issued a safety warning Wednesday on how pilots can avoid landing at the wrong airport.
The release cited two recent incidents. In January, a Southwest Airlines flight landed at the wrong airport in Branson, Mo. In November, a cargo plane landed on a runway half the length of its intended airport 12 miles away in Wichita, Kan.
READ MORE | NTSB Safety Alert to prevent landing at the wrong airport
On Monday, the FAA published audio of one of the two flights, revealing the confusion in the cockpit during the Missouri landing.
"I assume I'm not at your airport," one of the pilots said to the controllers at the intended airport.
"South 4013 have you landed?" replied the controller.
"Yea," said the pilot.
The Branson Airport controller then radioed a regional air traffic center.
"Did you watch Southwest land?"
"Did you see it come here?"
"Say that again?"
"They're saying it landed at the wrong airport."
"Are you kidding?"
"Yea. No, I'm not."
The NTSB warning gave five measures pilots can take to avoid landing at the wrong airport, such as confirming they have identified the correct destination airport before reporting that it's in sight, using cockpit instruments to verify the landing is occurring at the right airport, and being extra careful at night. The NTSB alert also pointed pilots to additional flight safety resources.