Heathrow Near Missgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Sunday, 30 April, 2000, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK Near miss at Heathrow
Air traffic controllers aborted the landing Two planes nearly collided at Heathrow Airport, it has emerged.
The incident happened on Friday afternoon between a British Midland flight which was preparing to take off and a British Airways 747 which was ready to land.
Air traffic controllers realised that there was a danger the two were on a collision course and aborted the landing of the jumbo jet.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is now investigating the cause of the near miss.
The British Midland Airbus had been cleared for take-off on its flight to Brussels but controllers feared it might hit the in-bound BA flight from Tokyo.
The BA plane was forced to circle over the airport. It later landed safely.
Investigators will look at reports filed by controllers or pilots on Tuesday to categorise the level of risk presented by the incident, before reporting to authorities.
A spokesman for the CAA said: "The Air Traffic Control Unit have already launched their own investigation but we wait for their report and they have 96 hours to file it with us."
Privatisation safety fears
News of the safety scare comes amid growing concern over the government's plans for a partial privatisation of the air traffic control service.
Ministers say that bringing in private money will allow for modernisation and much needed investment.
Critics of the plans including unions, pilots and a growing number of Labour MPs insist the sell-off could compromise safety.
According to the National Air Traffic Service, Britain's air traffic controllers handled a record 1.9 million UK flights in 1999 - a 7% increase on the 1998 total.
-- Rachel Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 01, 2000