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Toronto plane aborts landing 150 ft above ground after runway incursion

An Air Canada flight was forced to abort its landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport at the last minute after a driver entered the runway it was set to touchdown on, a new investigation has revealed.

A report from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada suggested quick thinking and observation from experienced air traffic controllers averted the risk of a potential collision upon landing.

Late on Oct. 15, 2022, an Air Canada Boeing 737 was preparing for its final touchdown on a runway at Canada’s busiest airport, with just 0.5 nautical miles until it reached the runway.

The runway was set to be closed overnight for maintenance and crews had arranged to meet just before the closure, the report found.

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One maintenance vehicle driver asked for clearance to go to the runway and was told he could approach the edge but should wait for permission to cross.

The driver, however, “slowed down, almost to a full stop, before proceeding onto the runway, in the displaced threshold area, without a clearance.”

Just before the driver headed out toward the runway, the report said air traffic controllers had cleared an Air Canada flight to land.

As the aircraft reached the airport, an air traffic controller saw the maintenance vehicle cross over the runway holding position. The tower told the flight crew to abort their landing and go around again.

The potential crash and manoeuvre to avoid it happened at around 150 feet above the ground, according to the report.

The plane landed “uneventfully” after it went around again and no one was injured.

The report found the driver whose vehicle entered the runway area was distracted because he was juggling driving and planning tasks for the overnight maintenance.

“The occurrence driver’s attention was split between his driving duties and the planning of the upcoming painting tasks that he would be supervising,” the report said.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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