I really would have thought this would be at the top of an existing checklist or something. But I guess not.
Original Story from USA Today
WASHINGTON – Federal safety officials issued an alert Wednesday reminding airline pilots to remain vigilant in finding their destinations after two pilots landed at the wrong airports in the last six months.
The National Transportation Safety Board issued the alert after a Southwest Airlines 737 landed at the wrong airport in Branson, Mo., in January. A Boeing 747 cargo plane landed at the wrong airport in Wichita, Kan., in November 2013.
“All of us have experienced a loss of situational awareness at some time,” NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said. But “mistaking a nearby airport for the intended one, or landing on the wrong runway or a taxiway, can have catastrophic consequences,” she said.
Government safety data and news reports reviewed by The Associated Press revealed at least 150 flights made such mistakes over the past two decades. Thirty-five of those cases involved wrong landings. The other 115 cases consist of aborted landing attempts or erroneous approaches.
The NTSB made five recommendations to flight crews for avoiding the mistake:
•Verify the plane’s position relative to the destination.
•Maintain extra vigilance when identifying the destination airport at night, when both of the recent mistakes happened.
•Become familiar with the airport’s layout and relationship to other facilities.
•Use the most precise navigation aids possible.
•Confirm the destination before reporting the airport or runway is in sight.