Virginia Senators urge Congress to nix expansion plans after near miss at Reagan National Airport

Virginia's two U.S. Senators are demanding their fellow lawmakers slam the brakes on legislation that would increase flights in and out of Reagan National Airport after a near-disaster collision between two passenger-filled commercial airliners Thursday.  

It happened on one of the busiest runways in the nation, and two of this country's best-known airlines, Southwest and Jet Blue, were involved.   

FOX 5's Bob Barnard spoke with people traveling through Reagan National Airport Friday who were understandably concerned.

The near-miss animation shared on YouTube shows the positioning of the two aircraft. 

The animation includes a real-time audio recording of the air traffic controllers.

Victor Atienza Sanchez is a corporate pilot based in Spain. He's the person who created the animation.  

He told FOX 5 that he was alerted to what had just happened at Reagan National by a U.S. pilot who subscribes to his YouTube channel.

"At that moment I thought this is serious, and then I went to the replay and saw that yeah ... It was serious," Sanchez said. 

Victor says he has rights with and Flight Radar 24 to create the animation. 

He's been doing this for ten years now.


Near miss at DCA, FAA to investigate

Two planes nearly collided at Reagan National Airport Thursday morning. 

In a statement released Thursday evening, the FAA said it will investigate the near miss.

Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner took the Senate floor Friday, saying what happened at Reagan National is beyond alarming.

"It’s very troubling, and obviously the FAA immediately announced it's going to do an investigation of it and that’s extremely important. We’ll understand what went wrong," Senator Kaine told FOX 5. "It also happened at a very critical time. We are in the midst of debating re-authorizing the FAA. We have a deadline of May 10 of getting that done and some members of Congress are trying to push to increase operations of flights into Reagan National even though the FAA is saying any increase now will only compound delays and inconvenience, which is already sort of unacceptable."


House rejects adding flights to DCA

The House voted Wednesday night against expanding flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Meanwhile at the airport, one airline passenger told FOX 5 that she understands how a near miss could happen.

"If you've ever known a controller, they're overworked. They don't get enough sleep, so that causes human error," they explained. 

Senator Kaine says the FAA re-authorization bill would increase the number of air traffic controllers. He notes it's been 15 years since the last deadly commercial airline crash in the U.S.