Two JetBlue planes clip each other at Boston Logan Airport

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It’s not the kind of body damage you can just buff out. Two JetBlue planes clipped each other at the de-icing pads at Boston Logan International Airport on Thursday morning. Both aircraft were taken out of service, and passengers had to be reaccommodated.

“On Thursday, February 8, a JetBlue aircraft entering a de-icing pad lane at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) came into contact with another JetBlue aircraft on an adjacent de-icing pad lane, causing damage to one aircraft’s winglet and the other aircraft’s tail section,” Derek Dombrowski, a JetBlue spokesperson, said in a statement to USA TODAY. “No injuries were reported by customers or crewmembers on either aircraft.”

He added that the passengers from flight 777 to Las Vegas and 551 to Orlando will be flown on other planes, and the airline is investigating the incident. The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday it will also be investigating the collision.

Airports are complex spaces and ground controllers are constantly juggling to keep airplanes moving efficiently. It’s not unheard of for aircraft to come into contact with each other on the tarmac, but it’s obviously frustrating for passengers onboard. 

Thursday’s incident at JetBlue should not be seen as a symptom of air traffic control issues. While it’s been widely-reported that many ATC facilities are understaffed and there have been some harrowing near-misses in recent months, it’s unlikely that this particular episode is related to those broader issues. 

Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at zwichter@usatoday.com

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