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Are Planes Safer in the Air Than on the Ground?

Airplane passengersPassengers at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport had quite the unpleasant morning recently when two airplanes collided on the taxiway, according MLive from Michigan.

While on their way to be de-iced, an American Airlines aircraft clipped the tail of a Southwest aircraft.

It took no time at all for passengers to take out their phones and share the accident across social media.

One tweet from Carlos Salinas read, “AA plane hits Southwest plane in taxi way, you would think they have all the room in the world !!!!!”

Fortunately, no passengers were harmed, but they were stuck on the plane for roughly three hours.

“We were taxiing over to get the wings de-iced and there was a plane sitting, kind of facing the opposite direction, and our wing came across the back of that plane and we were just too close to it and clipped the back,” described American Airlines passenger Jim Bishop. “It tore a piece of our wing off and the tail cone is cut completely off of the other plane.”

Both airlines have since issued apologies and attempted to accommodate the grounded passengers.

While Salinas’ tweet does raise the question of how two planes on a seemingly vast runaway were able to collide with each other, a recent surge in travelers coming through Detroit’s airport could explain it.

Daily Detroit reports that in 2015, the city’s airport saw 926,557 more arriving and departing passengers than the previous year — a 2.8% increase.

According to the International Air Transport Association, the airport is a full percentage point above the rest of the 31 national airports across the United States.
Part of the increase can be attributed to the addition of new routes traveling to locations such as Seattle, Orlando, Boston, and even London.

Delta airlines is currently the leading airline for Detroit, accounting for about 78% of all flights.

“A very encouraging sign for our regional economy is growth in the number of customers who are beginning or ending their trip in Detroit,” stated WCAA CEO Thomas Naughton.

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