Incident at Malpensa involves SAS MD-87, mirroring fatal collision at Linate in 2001

A Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) Boeing MD-87 was involved in a runway incursion incident at a Milan airport last month - almost three years after a similar aircraft was involved in a fatal runway collision at another of the city's airports.

The 22 September incident, which occurred at Milan Malpensa airport, is under investigation by the Italian authorities and SAS.

The MD-87 crew aborted take-off when they realised that another aircraft - a Lauda Air Italia Airbus A330 - was on the runway. The SAS aircraft, bound for Copenhagen, had begun its take-off roll on runway 35 and was travelling at about 20kt (35km/h) when it braked to a halt. It is not yet clear why the A330 was also on the active runway. "Our pilot had clearance for take-off," says SAS. "He looked out and saw that, in his opinion, the runway wasn't clear of other aircraft and so he stopped."

Italian air navigation authority ENAV claims there was no risk of a collision because the aircraft were 2,500m (8,200ft) apart. It says the weather was favourable and air traffic controllers would, in any case, have had time to intervene.

An investigator in charge has been nominated and has requested radar information, communication tapes, and statements from the crew and controllers involved.

The incident echoes the fatal October 2001 runway collision at Milan Linate airport, when another SAS MD-87 that had been cleared for take-off collided with a private Cessna Citation CJ2 that had strayed on to the active runway in fog, killing 118 people.The report slammed the Italian civil aviation authorities and the airport for lacking any form of safety management system.

A male passenger last week attacked the pilots of a Kato Airline Dornier 228 with the emergency escape axe, but the badly wounded crew landed the aircraft safely. The incident was on 29 September as the aircraft, with two pilots and seven passengers, had begun its approach to Bodo, Norway, at the end of a domestic flight.


Source: Flight International