A BRITISH AIRWAYS Boeing 737 avoided a head-on collision with a TAP Air Portugal Airbus A340 in May. The 737 took off rapidly from runway 17 at Oporto, Portugal, on 4 May, having seen that the A340 was on short finals for the same runway in the opposite direction.

The A340 carried out a touch-and-go landing on the runway (35) just after the 737 had left. Portuguese civil-aviation authorities are investigating the event.

The BA report of the incident says, that air-traffic control (ATC) had not made the crew aware of the A340's position or the TAP crew's intentions, but had advised the 737 crew, when it was at 5.5km (3nm) on finals for 17, to carry out a right turn on to 270° (a starboard turn through 100°), in the event of a missed approach. Oporto ATC has no radar and was relying upon distance-measuring-equipment reports from the aircraft, to monitor progress.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority says that it is awaiting the Portuguese report on the event.

Source: Flight International