Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has suspended the licences of the three pilots of a China Air Lines (CAL) Airbus A340 which took off from a taxiway at Anchorage airport on 25 January.

The aircraft, with 252 people on board, took off from the taxiway, which was only 2,075m (6,800ft) long, instead of the 3,260m-long runway 32. The A340's main gear hit a snow bank at the end of the taxiway shortly after the aircraft became airborne.

The captain's licence has been suspended for eight months from the date of the incident, and those of the co-pilot and a captain occupying the jump seat for seven months. This action is largely symbolic, because CAL has not allowed the pilots to work since the incident and says it will not make a decision on their future with the carrier until the official inquiry by the US National Transportation Safety Board is completed.

Source: Flight International