Fifteen Chinese air traffic controllers were punished by authorities for their involvement in a serious runway incursion incident at Shanghai-Hongqiao Airport last week.
On October 10, 2016 China Eastern Airlines flight MU5643, an Airbus A320, was involved in a serious runway incursion incident during takeoff from Shanghai-Hongqiao Airport, China.
The aircraft was cleared for takeoff from runway 36L for a domestic flight to Tianjin. As it was accellerating down the runway, an Airbus A330 entered the active runway via taxiway B3. The China Eastern Airbus A330-343 had landed on runway 36R after a flight from Beijing (MU5106). The flight was then cleared to taxy to the terminal.
It left the runway via B3, crossed taxiway Bravo and entered the active departure runway via taxiway H3. This crossing is located 2110 meters from the threshold of runway 36L and 2400 m from the point where the A320 commenced takeoff.
The A320 was accellerating through 110 knots when the crew noted the A330 entering the runway. The crew selected TOGA thrust and continued their takeoff. The aircraft rotated at about 130 knots and climbed over the A330 with a separation of just 19 m.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) stated that air traffic controllers at Hongqiao Airport had issued clearances to both aircraft, causing the conflict.
The licenses of the controllers manning the commanding and monitoring positions were revoked, in one of the cases for life. Thirteen officials with the East China Air Traffic Management Bureau as well as the bureau’s air traffic control center and safety management department were either given Party warnings, serious warnings, had demerits recorded or faced losing their positions, the CAAC stated.
The captain of the A320 on the other hand was granted a ‘first-class merit,’ along with other rewards.