On July 5, 2007, at 0915 Eastern daylight time, Delta Airlines (DAL) flight 1238, a Boeing 737-800, and Comair (COM) flight 5196, a CRJ 1, came within 600 feet of each other at the intersection of runway 22 and taxiway F at LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Flushing, New York. DAL1238 was landing runway 22 and COM5196 was taxiing across runway 22 at taxiway F enroute to runway 13. DAL1238 and COM5196 were operating as a scheduled passenger flights under 14 CFR part 121 and both had filed instrument flight plans. There were no injuries to occupants and no damage to either aircraft. The FAA classified this incursion as a Category C.

DAL1238 was arriving at LGA after a flight from Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) and was conducting the ILS runway 22 approach. The aircraft had been cleared for approach by New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (N90) prior to the communications transfer to LGA. The crew contacted the LGA local controller at 0913:24 and advised they were on an ILS runway 22 approach. The tower local controller acknowledged and at 0915:31 advised of traffic holding in position on runway 13 and cleared the flight to land. According to airport movement area safety system (AMASS) data, DAL1238 crossed the runway 22 landing threshold at 0916:35.

COM5196 contacted LGA ground control for taxi at 0855:48 and was issued progressive taxi instructions to runway 13 with interim holding points along the taxi route. At 0859:36, COM5196 was directed to continue the outbound taxi via taxiway B to taxiway F, hold short of runway 22. At 0916:15, the ground controller directed COM5196 to taxi across runway 22 at taxiway F to taxiway E. The flightcrew acknowledged. At 0916:34, the ground controller advised that landing traffic was one mile out. The crew responded with, "we're hustling". According to AMASS data, COM5196 entered runway 22 at 0916:41, and the system provided and aural and visual alert in the control tower. At 0916:45, the ground controller transmitted "no delay". The crew did not respond. According to the COM5196 Captain's statement, they were on taxiway F short of runway 22 and told to cross. They had to jog right due to the angle of taxiway F to runway 22 and the maneuver did not allow visibility of the runway until completing the jog. Once the 737 was in sight, the captain applied full power to the single running engine to taxi clear of runway 22.

According to the air traffic controllers' written statements, traffic was moderate to heavy and there was a vehicle fire on the southwest side of the airport near taxiway DD. The local controller had authorized the ground controller, who was in training on the position under the oversight of a qualified ground controller, via a conditional clearance, to taxi another aircraft across runway 22 after the aircraft in front of DAL1238 had passed taxiway F on the landing rollout. The local controller then coordinated with the tower supervisor for the aircraft following DAL1238 removed from the landing sequence because of insufficient separation. The ground controller mistakenly believed that DAL1238 was being taken out of the landing sequence and authorized COM5196 to cross runway 22 without coordinating with the tower local controller as required. According to the AMASS data, the closest proximity between the 2 aircraft was approximately 600 feet.


DAL1238 contained a captain, first officer, cabin crewmembers and one person in the jump seat and 51 passengers. COM5196 contained of a captain, first officer, one cabin crewmember and 25 passengers. Certification and flight experience for the flight crews was not requested. The local controller on duty at the time of the incident entered duty with the FAA in 1987 and had been at LGA tower since 1993. The ground controller who was in training entered on duty with the FAA in 2001 and had been at LGA since May 2007. The qualified ground controller entered duty with the FAA in 1990 and had been at LGA since 1998.


The LGA weather observation for 0851 was wind 240 and 10 knots, visibility 7 statute miles, few clouds at 2,200 feet, scattered clouds at 6,500 feet, scattered clouds at 8,000 feet and broken clouds 14,000 feet, temperature 24, dew point 19, altimeter 29.93 inches.


No damage was reported to either aircraft.


LGA ATCT was a level 10, 24 hour ATC facility with no scheduled air carrier operations scheduled between 0000 and 0600. The facility had 26 Certified Professional Controller's and 8 controllers in training, 7 of which were training on ground control and one training on local control. The facility had five supervisors, one Operations Manager, and three Air Traffic Assistants. The air activity for CY 2006 was 406,211 operations and 231,587 operations to date for CY 2007. LGA had two intersecting runways, runway 13/31 which was 7003 feet long and 150 feet wide and runway 4/22 which was 7001 feet long and 150 feet wide. LGA was one of three primary airports that make up the New York Class B airspace that overlies LGA, John F. Kennedy International, and Newark Liberty International Airports.

**This narrative was modified on October 12, 2007.**

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