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FAA changes San Francisco landing rules after close call


    Federal officials are imposing new rules on nighttime landings at San Francisco airport after a close call. The FAA will also require 2 controllers in the tower. The changes come after an Air Canada jet narrowly missed planes on the ground before aborted an off-line landing on July 7.

Federal officials have issued new rules for nighttime landings and control-tower staffing at San Francisco International Airport after an Air Canada jet nearly struck planes on the ground last month.

The new procedures will apply when a runway parallel to a plane’s designated runway is closed, as it was on July 7, possibly contributing to the Air Canada pilots’ confusion.

When an adjacent runway is shut down at night, air traffic controllers will no longer let pilots make so-called visual approaches to land. Instead, they must use instrument landing systems or satellite-based systems to line up for the correct runway.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said Thursday that the agency also will require two controllers in the airport tower during busy late-night periods. Only one controller was working during the Air Canada incident.

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