Watchdog: Airport Errors Soaring Runway 'incursions,' planes flying too close on the rise By Mary Papenfuss, Newser User Posted Oct 14, 2011 2:19 AM CDT 1 comment Comments A passenger jet flies past the control tower at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) (Newser) – The number of reported air traffic controller errors has jumped, along with the number of unauthorized planes, people, or vehicles on runways, according to a government report released yesterday. Incidents of planes flying too close to one another have nearly doubled in the last three years due to controller mistakes at smaller airports, reports the Government Accountability Office. The FAA insisted the figures were due to better reporting of problems, reports AP. The GAO acknowledged some increase might be due to improved reporting, but that "trends also indicate an increase in the actual occurrence of incidents."