Taiwan's Air Force was ordered today to pay NT$537 million ($16.9 million) in damages to Taiwanese carrier TransAsia Airways for a 2003 incident at the military-managed Tainan Airport that resulted in severe damage to an aircraft.

The ruling was handed down in Taiwan's High Court, says a spokesman from the Air Force.

TransAsia had sued the Air Force after the incident on 21 March 2003, in which a TransAsia Airbus A321 struck a construction vehicle on the runway while landing at Tainan Airport after a flight from Taipei. Tainan Airport, which is managed by the Air Force, is a joint military and civilian facility.

No one on the aircraft was hurt in the collision, but the incident injured the vehicle's driver and two workers.

The A321 was damaged severely in the incident and was retired.

The Air Force can appeal against the court's decision, but has not decided yet if it will do so, says its spokesman.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news