- Crews are skilled and well trained.
- In a crew of two, one can fix others confusion.
- There is a flight plan, ATC can inform of a deviation.
- GNSS / ILS / VOR / DME frequencies and distances increase situational awareness.
- February 2014: "Planes landed at wrong airports 150 times over 2 decades".
- March 2014: Security Alert, NTSB reminded pilots to take care of not landing at the wrong airport.
After having posted this question, I did an additional research, to find NTSB came back to this problem recently, in May 2015:
- NTSB releases two recommendations to FAA. One for ATC clearing to land, the other for software detection of wrong location.
- Related article: "After 5 planes land at wrong airports, the NTSB has a few words of advice for the FAA".
Relatively few errors, but consequence could be tragic
150 approaches or so wrong are a very small fraction of the many millions of flawless flights, however the NTSB emphasizes the consequences could have been tragic, e.g. if the erroneous airport didn't provide the expected runway length.
Did the analysis of these incidents show distinct patterns in their occurrence that could be prevented by different procedures or different navigation instruments?
Did the involved pilots, or other professionals think specific improvements had or still have to be made to avoid recurrence?