The Japanese Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry said ANA Flight 448, an Airbus A320 with 165 people on board, was on approach to Osaka-Itami (ITM) runway 32R, but the air traffic controller misheard the pilot and thought he requested a landing on the longer runway 32L.
The controller gave him permission to land on runway 32L. The ANA pilot repeated his plans to land on runway 32R, but the controller did not catch his words, the ministry said.
At the same time, Japan Airlines Flight 2441 – an MD-87 carrying 147 passengers and crew – was about to depart from runway 32R, but its pilot reported the incoming ANA plane to the air traffic controller. This was when the controller realized the ANA plane was heading toward the wrong runway.
The JAL plane was set to depart shortly, but the controller allowed the ANA plane to land on the unauthorized runway after judging there was enough space between the two planes, the officials said. (The Japan Times)