Dangerous occurrence at Malaga Airport

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ONE of our readers is a retired Independent Aviation Consultant with a number of very impressive engineering qualifications and he has written the following report of what he refers to as two dangerous and unacceptable occurrences at Malaga airport on September 28.

On the evening of September 28, Malaga airport was using Runway 13. This is the southerly runway going out to sea. No second runway was in use, as normal, although it is quite safe to use both the runways when traffic is in this direction.

At around 8.30pm in the evening an Iberian aircraft, Flight number IB3875 was cleared for take-off and Ryanair Flight number FR3446 was on short finals for runway 13. Prior to IB3675 getting airborne, Ryanair touched down.

Now, in the military this was acceptable, under certain circumstances, for the controller to say to the landing aircraft “clear to land, one on”. In commercial aviation this is deemed as dangerous and unacceptable.

As the Ryanair slowed down on the runway it missed the second-from-last high speed turn off to the taxiway (normal for these types of aircraft to use) and had to stay on the runway until it reached the last turn off. The controller appeared to have missed this potential problem and released a Vueling Flight Number VY2112 for take off, with the Ryanair still on the runway.

Two problems; the first is that the controller should not have cleared the Vueling flight for take off, but also the Vueling captain should not have accepted his clearance for take off as he would have seen the Ryanair Navigation lights flashing while it was still on the runway. In commercial aviation this is deemed as dangerous and unacceptable.

If they had opened the ‘white elephant,’ as the second runway is sometimes called, the risk to the safety of both aircraft would not have been compromised.

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    • RogerK

      30 September 2015 • 13:11

      I would completely concur with your consultant. The departing aircraft should have been reassigned to the second runway to avoid these incidents. The taxi time would be about the same so there’s no excuse.


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