The National Transportation Safety Board today released five recommendations for FAA rule changes relating to the Aug. 8 midair collision between an airplane and a sightseeing helicopter over the Hudson River.
NTSB suggests the FAA:
1. Establish a Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) for the exclusions to the class B airspace around New York City;
2. Require vertical separation between helicopters and airplanes in these SFRAs;
3. Require pilots to complete specific training on SFRA requirements before flying within the area;
4. Conduct a review of all other airspace configurations where specific pilot training and familiarization would improve safety; and
5. Brief air traffic controllers and supervisors about the circumstances of the Hudson River accident.
FAA’s established procedures for operation within the class B New York airspace are designed to minimize the risk of collisions, but the accident demonstrates these procedures are not enough, said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman.
“Our recommendations suggest operational changes that can make this corridor a safer place to fly,” she said.
The accident resulted in nine deaths of the people aboard the two aircraft.
The FAA does not have to follow NTSB recommendations, but is expected to either take action or to report back to the safety agency its reasons for no action.