Operations on Tokyo Haneda’s runway 34R/16L are to resume on 8 January, six days after the fatal collision involving a Japan Airlines Airbus A350 and a coast guard turboprop.

The collision with the De Havilland Dash 8-300, which occurred near the 34R threshold, spread debris along the runway and the A350 came to a halt about 1.7km from the point of impact.

Japan’s ministry of transport states that operations in northerly winds will remain similar to those before the accident, because there was no damage to the airport’s facilities.

But some landing aids, notably the precision-approach path indicator lights, did sustain damage during the accident, and ILS will be used on approach routes when winds are from the south.

Haneda runway JAL A350-c-Toshi Aoki-JP Spotters Creative Commons

Source: Toshi Aoki-JP Spotters/Creative Commons

Haneda will restore operations on runway 34R/16L, closed after the accident

NOTAMs for Haneda state that the PAPI for 16L approaches – at 3° and 3.25° glideslopes – are unavailable.

The ministry says it is aiming to restore the damaged facilities and return them to normal operation “as soon as possible”.

But it also points out that the measures mean capacity, during both northerly and southerly winds, will return to pre-accident levels “regardless of the weather”.

Haneda has been undergoing construction work which had already resulted in dozens of operational restrictions affecting runways and taxiways.

The inquiry into the 2 January accident is likely to examine, in particular, the unavailability of runway stop-bar lights including those on the C5 taxiway from which the Dash 8 entered 34R.

Japan’s aeronautical information publication states that holding points C1 to C14 feature stop-bar lights, 90m from the centreline of runway 34R, while a number of holding points – including C5 – also have runway guard lights 75m from the centreline.

According to a supplement to the publication, dated 28 December, the stop-bar lights on all the holding points for runway 34R are unserviceable. The validity runs to March 2024. An accompanying diagram shows that it includes the stop-bar for C5.