|← Locke||"Forrest Gump" →|
Many of the American airports do not have control towers to guide the airplanes on the taxi way, and; therefore, use other remote control towers to do their job. The Gulfport airport, however, is an airport that is equipped with an air traffic control tower as well as a terminal radar approach control tower. The former is used to guide airplanes as they approach and leave the airport for up to 40 miles while the latter guides airplanes as they takeoff or land on the taxi to or from the gate. Its primary effort is to avoid chaos and accidents on the ground.
The accident cannot be regarded as an accident caused by understaffing since besides the local air-traffic controller, there was an on-site training instructor and a developmental controller. Besides, if understaffing was the problem, the airport could have enlisted the help of other airports to guide traffic in that airport, as this would not have been unusual.
It is clear that there was professional misconduct on the part of the air traffic controller as he did not seek the warning of the instructor who told him of the near concurrent takeoff. The local air traffic controller also acted unprofessionally by assuming that the Cessna would take 3-5 minutes to depart. He was also wrong as the assumptions in the aviation industry can be costly. In addition, when the ERJ145 pilot queried about the go-around, he assumed it was a separate no-radio arrival at the airport. These are too many assumptions for one day in such a sensitive industry. The air traffic controller not only failed to log in the incident, which is clearly unethical, but also failed to realize his mistake until there was an investigation by the federal aviation authority. This went on to show that the event could have happened again, and this time resulted in fatalities; both in the air and on the ground. Releasing the two planes for takeoff at such close intervals and runways that intersect could only lead to accidents.
Air traffic controllers may at times break the rules due to the circumstances, but when the rules are broken out of sheer negligence or lack of professionalism, then stiff penalties should be exercised.