Press Releases

WASHINGTON  – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released the following statement after a narrowly avoided crash between two aircraft at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA): 

“Today’s near crash at DCA is a horrifying example of why it’s crucial that we beat back efforts to undermine slot and perimeter rules for our capital region airports. DCA’s overburdened runway is already the busiest in the country—and we fear that adding more flights could put passenger safety at serious jeopardy. We are thankful there was no loss of life or injuries, but this close call is unacceptable and we must ensure even near misses never occur again. To state the obvious: passenger safety should be a higher priority than whether some lawmakers have a direct flight home from DCA.”

 A visualization of the near miss is available here. 

The near-miss underscores the urgent need to reject any changes to slot and perimeter rules, which govern the number of flights that can safely operate out of DCA and the distance of those flights. In February, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation voted to alter the current slot and perimeter rules to increase the number of flights in and out of DCA as part of the Senate version of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act. 

The senators have repeatedly opposed changes to the slot and perimeter rules. In March, they sent a letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate Commerce and House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee opposing any changes to the rules in the FAA reauthorization. They also penned an op-ed last June urging their colleagues to oppose changes to the rules.