KLM Flying Dutchman - Wrong AMS Runway
Jun 21, 12, 1:45 pm
According to Luchtvaartnieuws.nl (http://www.luchtvaartnieuws.nl/nl-NL/Article.cms/Airports/Toestellen_opgestegen_vanaf_gesloten_Aalsmeerbaan) (in Dutch), nine aircraft managed to take-off from the closed Aalsmeerbaan runway last Saturday, due to an ATC error.
Jun 21, 12, 2:59 pm
Thankfully only closed administratively, there was no physical reason to not take of from there. If there was this could have ended quite ugly..
Jun 22, 12, 5:29 am
Thankfully only closed administratively, there was no physical reason to not take of from there. If there was this could have ended quite ugly..True, but all sorts of maintenance and service vehicles could have been on the runway, in the belief that no aircraft would be using it. Schiphol ATC told the press that they could see the runway from the tower (Really? What a surprise!), so there wasn't any problem.
Hmm . . . . so as long as you can see a closed runway, it is all right to let aircraft use it?
Jun 22, 12, 1:30 pm
Nine flights at Amsterdam on Jun 16th 2012, cleared to takeoff from closed runway
By Simon Hradecky, created Friday, Jun 22nd 2012 16:08Z, last updated Friday, Jun 22nd 2012 16:11Z
The Dutch Onderzoeksraad (Dutch Safety Board DSB) is investigating in a so called "short term study" how it was possible that tower cleared a number of flights for takeoff from closed runway 18L, also known as Aalsmerbaan, between about 20:20L and about 20:40L.
The Dutch Safety Board reported on Jun 21st 2012 that the runway had been closed at 17:30L (15:30Z) and was under control by the Airport Authority with the possibility of trucks crossing the runway. The runway had not yet been released by the Airport Authority to Air Traffic Control when tower cleared flights for takeoff from the runway for a period of about 20 minutes starting at about 20:20L (18:20Z). The closure of the runway was not indicated in the NOTAMs.
Netherland's Luchtverkeersleiding (LVNL), the ATC service provider in the Netherlands, reported all 9 flights departed without incident in clear weather and on a clearly visible runway. The tower controller had full view of the runway and could have intervened in case of obstacles on or approaching the runway, however, no other traffic or obstacles were on or near the runway during those 20 minutes. The LVNL said that other airport work related traffic could have entered the runway without clearance as the runway was closed for air traffic. The error was detected when the airport authority actually returned the runway to ATC, all relevant authorities including the DSB were immediately informed. In addition the LVNL have opened an internal investigation.
Radar data show the last departure from runway 18L before closure was at 15:29Z, the next departures were (list most probably incomplete): at 18:11Z (C25B), 18:29Z (B737, KL-1369), 18:37Z (F70, KL-1512), 18:39Z (B737, KL-1659), 18:41Z (A318, AF-1357), 18:44Z (A319, AZ-117), 18:45Z (B738, KL-1681) and 18:49Z (B738, AT-853).
Schiphol ATC told the press that they could see the runway from the tower (Really? What a surprise!)
In fairness, this does not hold true for the Polderbaan. So it has its own separate little baby tower.
Jun 25, 12, 2:47 am
In fairness, this does not hold true for the Polderbaan. So it has its own separate little baby tower.Indeed. The funny thing is that they only realized that the Polderbaan could not be seen from the regular tower very late during the construction phase, so they had to convert an old radar tower at the very last minute. This may even have delayed the Polderbaan opening, I can't remember for sure.
Jun 25, 12, 4:15 am
The closure of the runway was not indicated in the NOTAMs.
This is significant.
Why wasn't it NOTAMed?
Jun 25, 12, 4:20 am
I guess that's one of the questions being looked into in the DSB investigation.
Jun 25, 12, 9:12 am
Under US rules, a runway that is closed, but not NOTAM's must have an X at each end to show it is temporarily closed.
No X required if NOTAM'd and runway lights are off. I can't find the JAA riles, but they will be similar.
So, if the lights were on, no NOTAM and no X, then the runway was available for use.