Ryanair pilot averts serious incident at Porto Airport

Porto Airport © Pedroshin sur http://www.world-airport-codes.com/Portugal/francisco-s%C3%A1-carneiro-5994.html, Domaine public, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3105290

A potentially serious incident at Porto Airport was narrowly avoided on 26 June thanks to the quick actions of a Ryanair pilot. The incident occurred when air traffic control authorised the landing of a Ryanair Boeing 737-800 (EI-DLX) while a SATA Air Açores A321neo aircraft (CS-TSI) was still on the runway, awaiting clearance to takeoff to Porto Santo as flight S4 6473.

The pilot of the Ryanair plane, en route from Barcelona as flight FR4585, alerted the controller to the presence of the SATA aircraft, prompting the pilot to abort the landing until the runway was clear. This timely intervention prevented any further consequences.

The incident came to light when NAV Portugal, the national airspace manager, reported the occurrence to the Accident Prevention and Investigation Office with Aircraft and Railway Accidents (GPIAAF) and the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC). NAV Portugal has initiated an internal investigation into the incident and is currently gathering information to prepare a detailed report.

This incident raises concerns about air traffic control failures at Porto Airport and Ponta Delgada Airport in the Azores. Previous incidents have highlighted similar blunders, indicating a need for improved safety measures. In response to a previous incident in 2021, GPIAAF issued safety recommendations to NAV Portugal, focusing on implementing reliable runway incursion detection systems, reviewing oversight policies for controllers, enhancing the safety management system, and implementing the sterile control room concept.

While NAV Portugal and ANAC assert that the measures adopted in response to the previous incident do not directly apply to this specific case, GPIAAF confirms that an implementation plan has been established by both entities until December 31, 2023. ANAC is monitoring the implementation of these measures by NAV Portugal.

Efforts are underway to evaluate the circumstances surrounding the incident, with GPIAAF collecting information to support its ongoing evaluation process. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of robust air traffic control procedures and continuous improvement in aviation safety.

Source: The Portugal News, Portugal Resident, SIC, Lusa, Flightradar24

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