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Serious loss of separation incident involving multiple aircraft at Helsinki, Finland
12 February 2013
Flight BA794 aborting the approach to runway 04L at Helsinki (image from Flightradar24)

Flight BA794 aborting the approach to runway 04L at Helsinki (image from Flightradar24)

Several passenger planes were involved in a serious loss of separation incident at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Finland. The Safety Investigation Authority Finland has started an investigation.

On February 6, 2013 at 16:00 local time three aircraft were on approach to runway 04L at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Finland. Norwegian Air Shuttle flight DY5863, a Boeing 737-800, was on finals, followed by a Flybe Nordic ATR, and a British Airways Airbus A320, flight BA794 from London.

The air traffic controller noticed that British Airways flight was closing in on the ATR plane. To maintain a safe clearance between the aircraft, the controller instructed BA794 to abort the approach. At the same time the Norwegian Air Shuttle 737 had landed, but remained longer on the runway than anticipated by the crew of the ATR. The ATR crew decided to a execute a go around.

This situation caused a breach of separation minima between the British Airways and Flybe aircraft. While the ATR executed a go around, an Blue 1 Boeing 717 took off from runway 04R. This situation caused a second breach of separation minima, this time betweent the Flybe and Blue 1 aircraft.

There was no risk of collision according to the Safety Investigation Authority Finland, who classified this as a ‘serious incident’.

Aircraft involved in the event were:

  • LN-DYK  Boeing 737-8JP (WL) of Norwegian Air Shuttle, performing flight DY5863 from Alicante to Helsinki
  • G-EUUK Airbus A320-232 of British Airways, performing flight BA794 from London-Heathrow to Helsinki
  •  an unknown Flybe Nordic ATR plane, probably performing a domestic flight to Helsinki
  •  an unknown Blue 1 Boeing 717