Federal aviation authorities are investigating how three regional planes flying for US Airways "came within seconds of a midair collision" at Washington Reagan National Airport on Tuesday, The Washington Post reports.
USA Today said The Post, citing unnamed "federal officials with direct knowledge of the incident," reported that air traffic controllers cleared two outbound US Airways flights to take off into the path of another US Airways flight that was about to land.
The incident occurred at about 2pm on Tuesday. All the flights reached their destination without mishap.
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) confirmed the near-miss to ABC News, and said it was investigating the incident "and will take appropriate action to address the miscommunication."
US Airways released a statement, saying, "We are currently investigating and working with the FAA to determine what occurred. The safety of our customers and employees is always our top priority."
According to the Post, air traffic controllers in Warrenton, Va., told the tower at Reagan National they were changing the direction in which planes were flying into and out of the airport to avoid shifting winds. Warrenton controllers communicated the plan to the tower at Reagan National.
"The tower agreed, but they didn't pass it on to all the people they needed to pass it on to," a federal official told the newspaper.