Air travel in the US remains very safe—there hasn't been a major passenger plane crash in the US since February 2009, a few weeks into Barack Obama's first term as president—but the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a stern warning against complacency. The agency published an "aviation safety call to action" Wednesday, telling airlines and pilots there is a "need for continued vigilance" after several near-misses at US airports in recent months, CNN reports. "While the overall numbers do not reflect an increase in incidents and occurrences, the potential severity of these events is concerning," the FAA said, urging airlines to "reinforce adherence to published processes and procedures."
The alert urged operators to "evaluate information collected through their safety management processes, identify hazards, increase and improve safety communications with employees, and enact mitigations." There have been six significant close calls on runways so far this year, which prompted the agency to hold a safety summit last week, reports Reuters. "These recent incidents must serve as a wake-up call for every single one of us, before something more catastrophic occurs, before lives are lost,” National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy said at the summit, which was the first of its kind since 2009. (In one incident last month, a JetBlue pilot had to take "evasive action" to avoid a Learjet at Logan International Airport in Boston.)