Report Finds High Number of Runway Incidents at Logan

BOSTON (AP) -- There were more pilot deviations and control tower errors at Logan International Airport than at similarly busy airports in the past year and a half, Federal Aviation Administration reports indicate.

Pilots had to change their paths to avoid collisions with other planes or airport vehicles eight times between January 2004 to June 1 of this year, The Boston Sunday Globe reported. Air traffic controllers also made two operational errors during the same 18-month period.

The data includes two incidents early this year during which planes came close to crossing paths on Logan runways. But the reports did not include a June 9 incident, during which two planes may have come within 200 feet of each other while taking off.

The FAA listed all the Logan incidents as having little risk of a collision or as having enough time to avoid a collision.

FAA officials told the Globe that Logan's numbers were relatively high. But the agency found an overall reduction of serious runway incidents at Logan and other airports, according to spokeswoman Laura Brown.

The Massachusetts Port Authority, which manages Logan, ''takes its responsibility of operating safe operations at Logan very seriously,'' spokeswoman Danny Levy said.

''We rely on the FAA for the safe movement of aircraft,'' she said.

Logan is the nation's 17th busiest airport in terms of total takeoffs and landings. Newark Liberty International Airport, the 15th busiest, and Miami International Airport, the 19th busiest, each had five incidents. New York's LaGuardia Airport, the 19th busiest, had one incident during the same period.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the June 9 incident involving US Airways and Aer Lingus jets. A preliminary report says the planes may have come within 171 of each other while taking off.