A FedEx cargo plane attempting to land at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Saturday morning had to change course after a second plane was cleared to leave the same runway, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“The pilot of the FedEx aircraft aborted the landing and began a climb,” the FAA said in a statement.
The Boeing 767 cargo plane was several thousand from the airport when it was cleared to land, according to the FAA. But just before it landed, an air traffic controller gave the go-ahead for a plane operated by Southwest Airlines to take off.
In a tweet on Saturday, the National Transportation Safety Board described it as a “possible runway incursion and flyover involving Southwest Airlines and FedEx aircraft.”
The Southwest flight was able to take off safely, according to the FAA.
The FAA and NTSB said they are investigating the incident.
Shannon Davis, a spokesperson for FedEx, said in an emailed statement: “FedEx Express Flight 1432 from Memphis, Tennessee, to Austin, Texas, landed safely after encountering an event just prior to landing at Austin International Airport. Bergstrom of Austin this morning.”
Both Davis and Southwest Airlines referred other questions to the FAA and NTSB.
In a statement to The Associated Press, Austin-Bergstrom International said it was “aware of the Federal Aviation Administration’s investigation into a flight crash landing. We will assist our partners at the FAA and their investigation as needed.” .
A similar incident was averted last month at John F. Kennedy International Airport after an American Airlines plane crossed the runway as a Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 was preparing to take off. According to the FAA statement, the Delta plane came to a stop about 1,000 feet from where the American Airlines plane had crossed from an adjacent taxiway.
Austin-Bergstrom is about 5 miles southeast of downtown Austin.