Hong Kong aviation

Hong Kong’s new air accident investigation team to probe how two arriving planes ended up on same runway

  • Newly formed Air Accident Investigation Authority says what happened on Tuesday a ‘serious incident’
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 November, 2018, 7:21pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 November, 2018, 7:20pm

Hong Kong’s new air accident investigation team was on Thursday called in to look into how two aeroplanes ended up on the same runway at the city’s airport.

The Air Accident Investigation Authority (AAIA) said it would find out what caused the “serious incident”.

That came after Wednesday’s revelation from the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) that a China Southern Airlines Boeing 737-800 came within half a runway’s length of hitting a business jet which had yet to clear the runway, as it came in to land a day earlier.

The AAIA said in a statement it was “collecting the relevant data and information in order to analyse and determine the causes and contributing factors of the serious incident”.

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It would be a first major job for the agency, recently set up to conform with global rules requiring investigations to be independent of local air regulators.

Revealing the details of the incident on Wednesday, a CAD spokesman said the business jet, which had flown from the Philippines, had acknowledged an instruction of the control officer to clear the runway quickly.

He added that “the two aircraft were more than 1,800 metres apart when the [second] airliner touched down”.

The department said no one was injured and the operation of the airport was unaffected. It reported the incident to the AAIA.

Civic Party legislator Jeremy Tam Man-ho, a commercial pilot, said on Wednesday night that having two planes on the same runway was dangerous, and the rules state there should not be a plane on the runway when another is landing.

He said investigators would want to look into why the business jet took so long to leave the runway, and why the control officer did not instruct the pilot of the China Southern plane to go around and try to land later.