Following 'uptick' in airplane close calls, FAA holds safety summit

Following a series of close calls involving commercial flights, aviation leaders met Wednesday to discuss the incidents and work to identify patterns and factors fueling risks to the industry.

At the safety summit in Washington, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and acting Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Billy Nolen both acknowledged an "uptick" in close calls in recent weeks.

"Initial information suggests that more mistakes than usual are happening across the system on runways, at gates when planes are pushing back, in control towers and on flight decks," Buttigieg said in remarks at the event.

The FAA announced the summit last month as part of a review of the nation's aerospace system, looking at structure, culture, systems and integration of safety efforts.

Rich Santa, head of the national air traffic controller's union, said Wednesday there's a "staffing issue" among the air traffic controller workforce and there are 1,200 less certified professional controllers than there were 10 years ago.