A Wings Air ATR 72-600 inadvertently landed at an airport that had been closed for nearly three months on 19 June while operating a flight from Pontianak to Sintang.
The flight, operated by an aircraft registered PK-WHF, was the first of the day for the two flight crew, and carried two cabin crew and 32 passengers, Indonesia's National Transport Safety Committee states in its preliminary report on the incident.
As the aircraft started its approach, the crew contacted the Tebelian flight information service officer using the ‘Susilo Info’ callsign, and reported they were 84nm from Sintang and read through the planned arrival procedure.
The FISO acknowledged the message and provided updated weather information on the aerodrome. The two parties subsequently communicated at five-minutes to landing and on finals, with the FISO reporting that the runway was clear.
Two minutes after touching down, the crew reported to the FISO that they had landed, but the officer noticed that it had not landed at Tebelian airport, and confirmed to the crew that they had landed at the closed Susilo airport.
After taxiing to the apron, the aircraft subsequently departed Susilo and landed without further incident at Tebelian airport.
The NTSC found that before the flight, the pilots were not briefed on the new airport, and the airport visual guidance documentation that was used by the pilots contained information on Susilo airport that was effective from 9 March, while the airport closed on 26 April.
While information on Tebelian was available on the AIP Supplement website, it was not made clear that other information on Susilo on the website was invalid.
Neither pilot had flown into Tebelian airport before, while the pilot in command’s last flight to Sintang was three months prior, when Susilo was still in operation.
The NTSC noted that the crossed bar marking that should have been applied to the Susilo runway to signal that it was out-of-service had not been applied at the time of the incident.
In its safety recommendations, the Committee called on Wings Air to ensure that pilots are provided with the most current information before conducting flights, and also to ensure that all documentation provided to crew is current.
It also made recommendations to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation ensure that only current information be provided on the AIP Supplement website, and to ensure airports comply with their certification requirements – particularly when they are being decommissioned.